Day Traders Diary
The major averages fell on Friday to end a volatile week as investors continued to dump shares of high-flying tech companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 244 points, or 0.9%, to 27,657. The S&P 500 dropped 1.1% to 3,319. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 1.1% and closed at 10,793. The S&P 500 hit its lowest level of the month on Friday after reaching an all-time high on Sept. 2.
The major averages fell for a third straight week, notching their longest weekly losing streaks since last year. The Dow posted a slight week-to-date loss. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.6% over that time period.
Shares of Apple dropped more than 3% on Friday. Microsoft and Alphabet pulled back by 1.2% and 2.4%, respectively. Netflix dipped 0.1%. Facebook fell 0.9%.
Big Tech was also down broadly week to date. Facebook and Amazon have each dropped more than 5% this week. Alphabet, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft are also down sharply over that time period. For the month, all six stocks are down at least 10%. Apple, specifically, has plunged 17.2% in September. From their peak, Apple shares have fallen 22.6%; the company has also given up $500 billion in market value.
Friday's moves came as a series of individual stock, ETF and index options expired, potentially adding to some of the session's volatility. Tech stocks like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are among the names where investors had been aggressively buying call options. There was heavy activity Friday in Apple call options, for instance, which expired out of the money. Apple fell 3%. Options in Tesla are also actively traded, but that stock was higher.
The quarterly expiration comes after a summer of record buying in options by individuals and institutions, and many of them were bullish bets on technology and momentum stocks. Index options and futures expired at the opening bell Friday.
Tensions between China and the U.S. also dampened market sentiment after the U.S. government said it will block all TikTok and WeChat downloads in the country on Sunday. Oracle, which is trying to take a minority stake in TikTok-parent ByteDance, fell 0.7%.
Wall Street was coming off a sharp drop in the previous session as investors were on edge about the outlook on further coronavirus stimulus as well as the timing of a viable vaccine.
Republicans and Democrats are still struggling to agree on how much aid to continue to provide in a follow-up bill to the previous $2 trillion package. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he liked "the larger numbers," urging GOP lawmakers to go for a bigger coronavirus stimulus, but his comments left Republicans skeptical.
U.S. Treasuries finished little changed in a tight-ranged session. The 2-yr yield remained unchanged at 0.13%, and the 10-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.69%. The U.S. Dollar Index was flat at 92.95. WTI crude futures increased 0.2% to $41.09/bbl, bringing its weekly gain to 10%.
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