US stocks tread water, while Oracle slumps as TikTok US ban nears

Investors were given a dose of reality this week from the Fed, US-China tensions, and jobs and consumer spending data.

A man adjusts a rope outside a Bank of America Corp. bank branch along Broadway in New York, United States [File: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg]
A man adjusts a rope outside a Bank of America Corp. bank branch along Broadway in New York, United States [File: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg]

Major stock indexes in the United States are mixed on Friday as tech stocks continue to slump and the Trump administration ratchets up tensions with China after announcing it will ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat from US app stores starting late on Sunday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was barely in positive territory in mid-morning trading in New York, up 0.07 percent at 27,922.67. The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings reports – was down fractionally at 3,356.09, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was just barely on the plus side, up 0.09 percent at 10,919.98.

The US Commerce Department announced on Friday the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok will not be available for download in the US starting late on Sunday. Those who have TikTok downloaded will not receive updates.

The wildly popular video-sharing app could be banned in the US if no deal is struck by November 12 between TikTok’s owner ByteDance and Oracle Corp to create the new company, TikTok Global. 

Shares of Oracle were down 0.63 percent in mid-morning trading in New York.

Tech giants Apple, Alphabet and Amazon were in the red, while Facebook shares were up slightly. Shares of Tesla were up 4.72 percent.

People wearing protective masks enter the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, United States [File: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg]

Recent data showed layoffs in the US remain widespread and consumer spending is slowing – signalling economic recovery is plateauing as stimulus spending from Congress fades and talks for a new round of virus relief remain stalled.

Office space

Reopening efforts on Wall Street are experiencing some hiccups.

Goldman Sachs became the latest bank to send some of its traders home from its Manhattan headquarters after at least one employee tested positive for COVID-19, Bloomberg News reported.

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer David Solomon underscored the importance of traders returning back to the office, citing the damage to culture and productivity if things did not return to normal soon, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg news.

JPMorgan Chase & Co in New York and Barclays Plc in London have also sent traders home after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Deutsche Bank has taken another approach, telling its US-based traders they will not be asked to return back to the office until July 2021.

Source : Al Jazeera

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