Stocks ended mixed but the Nasdaq posted its worst loss since July 31, with momentum stocks taking a beating as some big accounts may have been raising cash ahead of this week's Fed policy meeting by selling growth stocks.
Some traders pointed to a WSJ article quoting venture capitalist Bill Gurley as saying Silicon Valley might have taken on more risk than it can handle as helping spark a selloff in tech high-fliers.
Facebook was among the top S&P decliners, -3.7%; other big losers included Telsa -9.1%, LinkedIn -7.6%, Yelp -6.3%, Twiiter -5.2%, TripAdvisor -4.1%, Netflix -4%, GoPro -2.9%.
Large-cap companies showed relative strength, helped by a rebound in energy stocks; Chevron and Exxon ended +1.3% and +0.5%, respectively, while crude oil rose 0.7% to $92.89/bbl.
Participation was on the light side, with fewer than 600M shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Treasury prices edged higher, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note falling 2 bps to 2.58%.
Much of the damage again came from the energy sector (-1.5%), which tumbled out of the gate and pulled the broader market down with it; Nymex crude slid 1% for the week, and has fallen for 10 of the past 12 weeks.
Today's session saw better than usual participation with 675M-plus shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 2.61% after beginning the week at 2.42%.
The August retail sales report at 8:30 ET is expected to show a gain of 0.6% after a flat July, and the September preliminary read on Michigan consumer sentiment is forecast to gain slightly from last month.
Europe's marginally higher in midday trade and Shanghai's 0.9% gain was the big mover in Asia overnight.
The 10-year Treasury yield continues its post-Labor Day march higher, up another two basis points to 2.57%, and gold continues its slide - now under $1,240 per ounce.
Japanese shares rose for the fifth straight session today, led by exporters on the yen's weakness.
The Nikkei hit a eight-month high, climbing 0.3% to 15,948.29, its highest close since Jan. 8. The Topix rose 0.2% to a six-year closing high at 1,313.72, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.2% to 11,905.53.
Stocks bounced back late to finish mixed, with the S&P nudging into the green to close at its high for the day, in a sleepy session amid lingering geopolitical tensions.
The major indexes ended essentially flat, while relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.7%.
Participation remains low, with 591M shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.
Crude oil futures rebounded from earlier losses after the IEA cut its forecast for global oil demand for the third month in a row; energy equities turned higher in the afternoon but the sector remains lower by 3.8% so far this month.
Treasurys climbed overnight following Pres. Obama's terror speech but wiped out all gains during the day; the 10-year yield ended at 2.55% after marking a low at 2.51% shortly before the opening bell.
Stocks rebounded after two days of losses and the S&P 500's largest decline in a month, led by the Nasdaq's 0.8% advance.
Tech stocks were the best performers, led by Apple's +3% jump a day after the company unveiled the latest models of its iPhone and a line of watches; social media stocks also rallied, with Twitter +4.5% following an upgrade at UBS, Facebook +1% and Yelp +2.2%.
Energy stocks slipped as crude oil fell 1.1% to $91.71/bbl, while the persistence of dollar strength also dampens earnings prospects of multinationals such as Chevron and Exxon.
Fewer than 600M shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
Treasury prices tumbled, with the 10-year benchmark note shedding eight ticks to send its yield higher by 3 bps to 2.54% for its fifth straight increase.
Stocks extended yesterday's losses, with the S&P 500 slumping to its biggest percentage drop in more than a month (-0.7%) and the Nasdaq dropping the most since July 31 (-0.9%).
Fluctuation in Apple contributed to the choppy session after the heaviest-weighted company in the S&P and Nasdaq unveiled iPhone 6, ApplePay and Apple Watch; shares rose as high as 3.5% but lost ground after the event and closed slightly lower.
The financial sector was a drag on the broader market amid weakness in BofA, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan, while the consumer discretionary space also weighed as McDonald's fell 1.5% after reporting a 3.7% decline in comp-store sales during August.
"The market is showing some levels of exhaustion, particularly after this huge run up in the S&P," said UBS's Jeffrey Yu.
Treasury prices slipped, sending the benchmark 15-year yield 3 bps higher to a six-week high 2.498%.
Will Apple introduce a completely new device for the first time in several years? The company's product event starts at 1 ET. Major stock index futures are roughly flat, though Apple is ahead by 0.75% premarket.
Europe's modestly lower and Asia was little-changed overnight.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield continues its post-Labor Day rise, up four basis points to 2.51%, and gold is ahead by $3 per ounce to $1,257.
Stocks are set for a slightly lower open, with futures down by 0.2%.
Europe's off by 0.5% and Asia sported moderate gains overnight.
Goldman Sachs - which turned somewhat bearish mid-summer - throws in the towel on that call, and upgrades equities to overweight over the next three months. The team notes the ECB's rate cut and asset purchase program last week as lowering the risk from an imminent rise in bond yields.
The 10-year Treasury yield is down two basis points to 2.44% and gold is flat at $1,266 per ounce.