Wall Street opens lower after last week's rally

Both the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq opened lower on March 7, 2016.
Both the Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq opened lower on March 7, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Wall Street started the week on a negative note on Monday, dragged down by financial and technology stocks, after last week's rally.

An upbeat jobs report on Friday helped push the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average to their first four-day winning streak in about five months. The data suggested the economy was recovering. However, the report was not strong enough for the Federal Reserve to consider an immediate increase in interest rates.

The Dow closed above 17,000 on Friday for the first time since January, while the S&P was just shy of 2,000, levels that traders consider psychologically important.

"The factors that have been driving the market have been some bargain hunting, some short covering and speculating off the belief that we have seen the worst of things," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

"Investors are taking a pause, stepping back and looking at what's the next driving element," he said.

At 9:40 a.m. ET (10.40 pm Singapore time) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 32.53 points, or 0.19 percent, at 16,974.24, the S&P 500 was down 6.99 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 1,993 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 17.83 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 4,699.19.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 0.74 per cent fall in the financial sector. Goldman Sachs' 0.6 per cent decline was the worst drag on the Dow.

Technology stocks also took a beating, with Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft pulling down the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

The S&P energy and materials sectors were the only two in the green as crude prices rose more than 1 per cent. A string of upbeat data from major economies and stabilizing commodity prices have helped improve sentiment ahead of a relatively quiet week in terms of data for Wall Street as corporate earnings season draws to a close.