Tech drags down S&P 500, Nasdaq

Tech stocks dragged the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower Thursday as strong economic data heightened fears about inflation.

Sparking those concerns: Jobless claims and private payrolls data were better than economists expected, and a gauge of service sector activity rose to a record high.

Investors were also concerned the Fed would ease support after the central bank this week said it will begin to unwind its corporate bond holdings. That offset relief over reports that President Joe Biden offered to scrap his proposed corporate tax hike.

Global Investments Chief Market Strategist Victoria Fernandez, who sees inflation as temporary, is optimistic about the outlook for the markets.

“You have consumption still going strong. You have consumers where their household balance sheets for many consumers are actually better now than they were before the pandemic, so they're sitting on a large chunk of savings right now. They've got momentum going. People are going back to work, so they're going to start getting paychecks again.”

The Dow ended nearly flat. The S&P 500 shed a third of a percent, and the Nasdaq lost 1%.

General Motors shares were among the second biggest mover on the S&P 500, rising 6%. The auto maker said that its first-half profits would be “significantly better” than previously forecast.

Meanwhile, theater chain AMC’s stock got whipsawed. After nearly doubling Wednesday, shares tanked nearly 40% Thursday morning before rebounding to end with a 20% loss. The company said it completed a share offering it announced earlier in the day.