Wall Street closes down on slide in Apple shares, bank stocks

Wall Street closes down on slide in Apple shares, bank stocks
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(July 19): Wall Street ended lower on Monday after bank stocks erased earlier gains and Apple shares fell on a report saying the company plans to slow hiring and spending growth next year.

After posting solid gains to start the session following earnings from Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the S&P financial sector weakened into the close.

Apple shares reversed course to close down 2.1% at US$147.10 on a Bloomberg report that said the company plans to slow hiring and spending growth next year in some units to cope with a potential economic downturn.

Goldman Sachs advanced 2.5% as it reported a smaller-than-expected 48% slump in second-quarter profit, helped by strength in its fixed-income trading.

Worries about a larger one percentage point rate hike at the end of July eased following remarks from Fed officials last week that the policymakers could stick to a 75-basis-point hike.

"It's really hard to sustain upward momentum," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. "And that's kind of the story of bear markets."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 215.65 points, or 0.69%, to 31,072.61, the S&P 500 lost 32.31 points, or 0.84%, to 3,830.85 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 92.37 points, or 0.81%, to 11,360.05.

Nine of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 lost ground, with healthcare and utilities suffering the largest percentage drop, while energy took the biggest gain.

Earnings from big technology companies next week will be closely watched, after their shares came under immense selling pressure through much of this year.

Among other tech stocks, Google parent Alphabet fell 2.5%. IBM declined 1.3%.

Volume on US exchanges was 10.63 billion shares, compared with the 12.15 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 1.2-to-one ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-one ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 31 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 30 new highs and 78 new lows.