US stocks decline as technology companies struggle

A steep slide in technology companies weighed on US stocks on Friday, pulling the market lower for the second day in a row.

Losses among retailers, packaged food and beverage makers and other consumer goods companies also helped weigh down the market.

Banks rose as bond yields continued to climb, reflecting increasing investor concerns of higher inflation in the wake of rising oil and other commodity prices.

"Higher commodity prices, a little bit more inflation pressure and higher interest rates, that sort of takes some wind out of the sails for equity markets, at least short-term," said Edward Campbell, senior portfolio manager at QMA, a business unit of PGIM.

The S&P 500 index fell 22.99 points, or 0.9%, to 2,670.14. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 201.95 points, or 0.8%, to 24,462.94.

The Nasdaq composite lost 91.93 points, or 1.3%, to 7,146.13. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9.69 points, or 0.6%, to 1,564.12.

For every stock that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, two declined. Still, the indexes finished the week with a gain.

"This is just the market taking a breather here in an up month," Mr Campbell said.

Bond prices continued to slide as bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.9%. That is up from 2.91% late on Thursday and the highest level since January 2014.

The pick-up in bond yields helped drive bank shares higher. When bond yields rise, they drive up interest rates on mortgages and other loans, which can translate into bigger profits for banks. Regions Financial gained 4.1% to $18.89.

Technology stocks were the biggest contributor to the market decline, adding to the sector's losses for the week. Apple led the sector slide, finishing lower for the third day in a row. The stock lost 4.1% to $165.72.

Mattel was one of the biggest decliners among consumer-focused companies. The struggling toy maker slid 3.6% to $12.96 after announcing that CEO Margo Georgiadis is stepping down and is being succeeded by a company director and former studio executive.

- PA

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