• Wall Street’s main indexes opened in the red on Thursday.
  • Technology shares remain on the back foot after the opening bell.
  • Defensive sectors stay relatively resilient in early trade.

Major equity indexes in the US opened in the negative territory for the second straight day on Thursday as safe-haven flows continue to dominate the financial markets. As of writing, the S&P 500 was down 0.75% on the day at 3,901, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 0.8% at 31,353 and the Nasdaq Composite was falling 1.15% at 13,544.

Reflecting the risk-averse market environment, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street’s fear gauge, is up nearly 10%.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the risk-sensitive Technology Index and the Communication Services Index both lose around 1%. On the other hand, the defensive Utilities Index post modest losses and the Real Estate Index stays flat after the opening bell.

Earlier in the day, the US Department of Labor reported that Initial Jobless Claims in the week ending February 13 rose to 861K from 848K and came in worse than analysts’ estimate of 765K.

S&P 500 chart (daily)