Thursday, October 21, 2021

Dow Jones hit another decline with major tech index taking a major hit

A jittery market resumed its downward slide on Wall Street on Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling about 40 points and technology stocks taking another beating.

The major technology indices saw sharp drops, including the Nasdaq — down 0.8 percent in late-afternoon trading — and the tech-heavy S&P 500, which lost 0.6 percent. Stocks barely budged as the day wore on but finished the day down slightly.

With little discernible consensus and scant economic data, trading volume was light, a sign that this was a less-than-stellar day for stock traders.

Investors, however, were sure to avoid the tech-heavy Nasdaq index after Facebook fell to its lowest level since late-2016, and shares in Apple, Microsoft and Amazon also gave up ground.

Wall Street’s concerns about a partial government shutdown and pressure from China on U.S. tariffs also stirred worries on Thursday.

“A lot of people are nervous. The president is anxious,” Patrick Armstrong, co-president at Armstrong Investment Counsel, told Bloomberg, referring to President Donald Trump’s frustrations with the U.S. trade policy. “People are trying to figure out how to trade this.”

The White House earlier Thursday told furloughed government workers that those who continued working after they were expected to miss a paycheck due to the shutdown will not get back pay.

At the same time, a senior Trump administration official said that the president is “feeling pretty good” about his negotiating position after he was able to break a months-long impasse over the U.S. trade dispute with China.

While in Asia, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told the chief of staff of Chinese President Xi Jinping that China should abandon its “America first” policy, and proposed that Beijing and Washington establish a dialogue on economics and trade before January 1.

The issue of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers is also seen as key to any progress in the U.S.-China trade talks.

A number of House Democrats have pledged to investigate the Trump administration’s recently announced tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

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