US stocks plunge as tech leads losses

US stocks plunged, as a steep sell-off in tech shares dragged down the market.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 807.77 points, or 2.78 per cent, to finish at 28,292.73. The 30-stock index shed more than 1,000 points, or about 3.5 per cent, at the lows, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 fell 125.78 points, or 3.51 per cent, to end at 3,455.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 598.34 points, or 4.96 per cent, to 11,458.10.

Shares of Apple and Microsoft dived 8 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively, leading the laggards in the Dow.

Shares of other major US tech giants including Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet also declined noticeably.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors dipped, with technology down 5.8 per cent, the worst-performing group.

US-listed Chinese companies traded lower, with all the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

On the data front, US services Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 56.9 per cent in August from the July reading of 58.1 per cent, the Institute for Supply Management reported on Thursday, indicating a slower pace of growth.

US initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, fell to 881,000 in the week ending August 29, following an upwardly revised 1.01 million in the prior week, said the Department of Labor.

The decline in new claims mainly stemmed from a major change in seasonal adjustment methodology and the labor market showed little progress absent the change, according to analysts.

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