Tech shares lead US stocks lower, Facebook down 4.9%

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index suffered the biggest losses of the major indices, ending down 2.1 per cent at 14,255.48. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Tech shares endured another ugly session Monday (Oct 4) on worries about Washington's unsettled spending and budget debates and lacklustre expectations for the upcoming earnings season, while Facebook's stock was battered after deepening scrutiny over its operations.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index suffered the biggest losses of the major indexes, ending down 2.1 per cent at 14,255.48.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.9 per cent to 34,002.92, while the broad-based S&P 500 tumbled 1.3 per cent to 4,300.46.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week enacted stopgap legislation to avoid a government shutdown, but they are still far from resolving a debate over raising the debt ceiling.

United States President Joe Biden's infrastructure package also faces significant hurdles before becoming law, with Republicans aligned against most of the plan.

"There's growing frustration with the gridlock in Washington," said National Securities chief strategist Art Hogan.

Mr Hogan also pointed to rising unease about the upcoming earnings season after several companies in recent weeks warned of supply chain problems that are crimping product availability or cutting into profit margins.

Large tech companies had a bad day overall, with Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet all losing around 2 per cent or more.

Facebook dropped 4.9 per cent after its main platform, photo-sharing app Instagram and WhatsApp were all hit by a massive outage.

That came as the company faces deepening scrutiny over its operations. Whistleblower Frances Haugen told television news show 60 Minutes the company repeatedly chose "profit over safety" in managing the omnipresent social media company.

Petroleum-linked companies enjoyed a far better day than the broader market, with ConocoPhillips winning 2 per cent and Devon 5.3 per cent on surging oil prices.

An exception was Amplify Energy, which plunged more than 40 per cent as the cause of a large oil spill in California that is killing wildlife and threatening beaches in the nation's most populous state.

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