US stocks FALL, weak Apple shares hit Nasdaq

NEW YORK – Slumping Apple shares hit the tech-rich Nasdaq on Thursday (Sep 8), snapping a two-day streak of record highs as US markets broadly finished lower.

Apple’s 2.6 per cent decline came one day after the technology giant unveiled new iPhones and a second-generation Apple Watch that drew mixed reviews.

The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 24.44 points (0.46 per cent) at 5,259.48.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46.23 points (0.25 per cent) to 18,479.91, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 4.86 points (0.22 per cent) to 2,181.30.

“I think the story of the day were the reactions to the iPhone7,” said Mace Blicksilver of Marblehead Asset Management. “More than anything else it put Nasdaq in a depressed mood.”

Twitter meanwhile sank 5.9 per cent ahead of a board meeting as doubts rose about reports that surfaced last week that the company could be ready to entertain a takeover proposal.

Petroleum-linked stocks rose with oil prices. Dow member ExxonMobil gained 0.9 per cent, Halliburton 1.3 per cent and Devon Energy 2.4 per cent.

Dow member Nike dropped 2.7 per cent after PiperJaffray downgraded the athletic footwear and apparel giant, citing rising competition from Adidas, Puma and other brands in Europe.

Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 2.2 per cent and Rite Aid 5.9 per cent after Walgreens Boots said it expects its acquisition of its smaller drugstore chain rival to close in the second half of 2016. Walgreens Boots expects to sell between 500 and 1,000 stores to win regulatory approval.

Tractor Supply Company slumped 16.9 per cent after forecasting that third-quarter comparable store sales would be from flat to a decline of one per cent.
– AFP/de