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* Non-farm payrolls increase less than expected
* DocuSign plunges after disappointing forecast
* Nucor rises on hiking quarterly dividend by 23%
* Indexes down: Dow 0.17%, S&P 0.91%, Nasdaq 2.07%
Dec 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes fell in choppy
trading on Friday, with the Nasdaq tumbling more than 2%, as
mixed jobs data, uncertainty around the Omicron coronavirus
variant and the path of the Federal Reserve's policy tightening
The S&P 500 technology index slid 1.9%, leading
losses among the 11 major sectors.
Shares of Apple Inc, Meta Platforms,
Google-owner Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc,
Microsoft Corp, Nvidia Corp and Tesla Inc
fell between 1.4% and 6.1% to weigh the most on the S&P
500 and the Nasdaq.
"What you're seeing is the influence of technology and that
is directly related to Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia etc. It's
reverse of what we've seen historically where the main drivers
of the index are the big stocks," said Paul Nolte, portfolio
manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
Wall Street opened higher after the Labor Department's
report showed nonfarm payrolls increased less than expected in
November, but the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2%, the lowest
since February 2020, and wages increased further.
"The numbers are indicating that the economy is very strong.
So it is confirmation of some of the things that Powell was
talking about on the Hill this week, and is supportive of the
fact that you're probably going to see a more aggressive Fed,"
said Kingsview's Nolte.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week that the U.S.
central bank will consider at its upcoming meeting a faster
wind-down to its bond-buying program to tackle surging price
pressures, a move widely seen as opening the door to earlier
interest rate hikes.
The cyclical-linked Dow and economy-sensitive S&P
sectors like industrials, materials, energy
and financials fared better in the day's broad
Separately, a measure of U.S. services industry activity hit
a fresh record high in November as businesses boosted hiring.
Equity markets have swung wildly this week as investors
digested updates on the newly detected Omicron variant, which is
spreading globally and prompting countries to reimpose travel
"Even if Omicron is not too virulent, all of this, coupled
with a hawkish Fed, speaks to increased caution for risk assets,
although if corporate profits continue upward, overall equities
should still rise except perhaps many of the most expensive
ones," said John Vail, chief global strategist at Nikko Asset
The main three indexes are on course for steep weekly
losses, with the Dow tracking its fourth straight fall.
Wall Street's fear gauge, the CBOE Market Volatility index
, was last trading at 30.70 points.
At 12:42 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 60.24 points, or 0.17%, at 34,579.55, the S&P 500
was down 41.62 points, or 0.91%, at 4,535.48, and the
Nasdaq Composite was down 319.08 points, or 2.07%, at
DocuSign Inc plunged 40% after the electronic
signature solutions firm forecast downbeat fourth-quarter
Nucor Corp added 3.7% after the steel products maker
increased its quarterly dividend by 23% and announced a $4
billion buyback program.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.52-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and for a 3.94-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and five new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 12 new highs and 585 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Anisha Sircar and Sruthi Shankar in
Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel)