Tech swoon weighs on markets

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

After weeks of seemingly unstoppable rises, US tech stocks turned sharply down on Friday.

The swoon weighed on US markets, offsetting gains in financial and energy stocks.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell 113.84 points or 1.80%% to 6,207.92.

The broader S&P 500 dipped 2.02 points or 0.08% to 2,431.77, while the Dow Jones edged up 89.44 points, rising 0.42% to 21,271.97.

US markets had seen limited movement earlier this week, as markets waited to see the results of the UK election and reaction to the testimony by former FBI director James Comey in Washington.

Mr Trump's firing of Mr Comey, who had been leading the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, has drawn a political backlash, threatening the prospects for key business initiatives in Washington.

But the testimony contained little new information and Republicans appeared confident in plans to press forward on key initiatives, such as loosening financial rules.

Financial stocks gained nearly 2% on Friday, while energy stocks rose more than 2% as oil prices stabilised.

But those increases couldn't overcome the fall in technology stocks.

Netflix fell 4.7%, Apple sank 3.9%, Google-owner Alphabet dropped 3.4% Facebook declined 3.3% and Amazon fell 3.2%.

The firms' weeks of success on Wall Street had won it an acronym - FAANG - and led to a steady drumbeat of commentary about possibly inflated values, but it wasn't clear what triggered the widespread sell-off.

It wasn't all bad for internet companies.

Pandora shares jumped 1.2% on Friday, after the music streaming service said it would receive a $480m cash infusion from Sirius XM.

Pandora said the investment by Sirius XM, a satellite radio company, would give it money to grow. It also gives Sirius exposure to the market for online radio.