NEW YORK, April 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks slumped after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 briefly touched record intraday highs earlier in the session Friday, as the sell-off of tech shares weighed on the market.
The blue-chip Dow slipped 159.84 points, or 0.96 percent, to 16, 412.71. The S&P 500 plunged 23.68 points, or 1.25 percent, to 1, 865.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 110.02 points, or 2. 60 percent, to 4,127.73.
The tech-rich Nasdaq dipped to a two-month low, as momentum stocks including Tesla, Netflix and Amazon were again sold by smart money, which chose to take risks off the table, awaiting more evidence from an upcoming new round of corporate earnings season to justify the bullish market.
Until the S&P 500 falls under 1840 along with other major indices violating February lows, this correction will be short- term only and prices lie just above meaningful intermediate term support, Mark Newton, chief technical analyst/Partner at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc, said in a note Friday.
However, the breakdown in momentum is indeed a real intermediate term concern, and means "we likely have at least begun a topping process where various indices will peak at different times," he added.
The market initially moved higher, with both the Dow and the S& P 500 setting record highs of 16,631.63 and 1897.28, respectively, following the release of goldilocks U.S. non-farm payroll report in March before the opening bell.
U.S. total non-farm payroll employment added 192,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists had expected the employment to increase 206,000 in the month and the unemployment rate to fall to 6.6 percent.
Though trailing economists' forecast, the jobs report is not considered to alter the Federal Reserve's tapering progress, as it suggested that world's largest economy is still strengthening, which had propelled major indices to rewrite record book repeatedly in the past couple of weeks.
On a weekly basis, the market closed in mixed territory, with the Dow logging a three-week winning streak, up 0.5 percent, the S& P 500 jumping 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq dropping 0.7 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, rose 4.41 percent to end at 13.96 Friday.
In other markets, oil prices gained Friday as investors tried to digest the U.S. jobs report in March. Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved up 85 cents to settle at 101.14 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery added 57 cents to close at 106.72 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Friday, with the most active gold contract for June delivery up 18.9 dollars to settle at 1,303.5 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar mixed against other currencies Friday after the U.S. March non-farm payrolls came in tepid.
In late New York trading, the euro lost to 1.3703 dollars from 1.3715 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 103. 23 Japanese yen, lower than 103.92 yen of the previous session.