US stocks fall again amid TikTok, stimulus angst

VIDEO: REUTERS
The logo for social media application TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone against a background of the US flag..
The logo for social media application TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone against a background of the US flag..PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks fell again on Friday (Sept 18), with technology shares extending their retreat as escalating US-China tensions over TikTok added to investor unease.

The tech-dominated Nasdaq again pulled back on weakness in Apple, Amazon and other tech giants, losing 1.1 per cent to 10,793.28.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.9 per cent to 27,657.42, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.1 per cent to 3,319.47.

All three indices finished with losses for the week.

The drop extended a downward trend from Thursday's session, when disappointment over the lack of US stimulus and the cloudy outlook for coronavirus vaccines dented sentiment.

On Friday, analysts cited worries over US-China relations after the Trump administration ordered a ban on downloads of TikTok and effectively blocked the use of WeChat on US national security grounds, escalating a fight with Beijing over digital technology.

Friday also marked a quarterly options expiration day, sometimes a source of additional volatility.

A note from Charles Schwab described the "festering" state of US-China relations, as well as political uncertainty "as the highly-contentious presidential election looms and a fiscal relief package appears not be in the offing."

Among individual companies, steel producer Nucor rose 0.5 per cent after projecting better-than-expected third-quarter results as it pointed to strong demand connected to commercial construction.