Roundup: U.S. stocks post weekly losses amid tech weakness, economic data

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NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks dropped for the week, pressured by weakness in the tech shares amid a spike in bond yields.

For the week ending Friday, the Dow lost 1.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched the biggest fall since the week ending Feb. 26, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, logged a weekly decline of 1.9 percent.

An upward momentum in U.S. bond yields hit tech shares. The 10-year rate topped 1.56 percent earlier this week, its highest point since June, amid investor concerns about persisting inflation and tighter monetary policy.

High-growth tech shares are rate-sensitive as higher interest rates could erode their future profits, compressing their stock valuations, experts noted.

Washington became a focus on Wall Street this week as investors eyed the debt ceiling standoff.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that U.S. lawmakers have until Oct. 18 to raise or suspend the debt limit before the United States is expected to default on the national debt.

The debt limit, commonly called the debt ceiling, is the total amount of money that the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including social security and medicare benefits, interest on the national debt, and other payments.

"Not raising the debt ceiling would mean missing entitlement and other payments, which is by no means a good outcome and could lead to volatility. But talk of 'default' needs to be examined more closely," analysts at Zacks Investment Management said Saturday in a note.

Meanwhile, traders continued to look to high inflation.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that inflation pressures could last longer than expected amid supply bottlenecks.

"Inflation is elevated and will likely remain so in coming months before moderating," Powell said at a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department said on Friday that the personal consumption expenditures price index, excluding the volatile food and energy components, climbed 0.3 percent in August, above the 0.2 percent consensus, for a 3.6 percent year-over-year rise.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that the September U.S. manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 61.1 percent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the August reading of 59.9 percent. Any reading above 50 percent indicates the sector is generally expanding.

U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, increased by 11,000 to 362,000 in the week ending Sept. 25, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected a print of 335,000. Enditem

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