Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

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Tech stocks defy downbeat data as dollar, global equities retreat

1 min read

The tech-heavy index is 15% higher than its pre-COVID peak in February, while the broad S&P 500 slid from a new all-time high set Wednesday, to below its previous peak also reached six months ago.

Nasdaq closes at all-time high.

The dollar eased and global equity markets fell on Thursday, even as the tech-heavy NASDAQ index touched a record high and looked past the growing signs of prolonged economic weakness. Gold also rose in a sign of safe-haven buying.

Economic concerns weighed on equities earlier in the day, reflecting Wednesday’s concern from the Federal Reserve about the U.S. labor market slackening as U.S. coronavirus cases rise.

That pessimism was reinforced on Thursday by a surprise jump of more than 1 million in new U.S. claims for unemployment assistance, which sent broader stock indices lower.

The new jobless claims reading was well above the forecast of economists polled by Reuters that expected 925,000 new applications in the latest week.

But U.S. tech stocks defied the downbeat mood and extended their upward streak. The Nasdaq surged to a fresh record high, led by gains in Apple Inc , Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc .

The tech-heavy index is 15% higher than its pre-COVID peak in February, while the broad S&P 500 slid from a new all-time high set Wednesday, to below its previous peak also reached six months ago.

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