US stocks decline, led by energy firms
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US stocks fell in late afternoon trading on Wednesday, led by a decline in Apple shares and as energy companies dropped with oil prices.
Apple shares were last down 0.8% at $111.44 in volatile trading as the company’s product launch event was under way in San Francisco.
Apple said it would update Apple TV with an App Store and a new interface that allows viewers to make requests through the Siri digital assistant to search for specific programs and movies across apps.
The S&P energy sector led declines among the S&P 500 sectors, falling 1.3%, as oil prices dropped.
The day’s late losses reversed earlier gains of as much as 1% and followed a 2% rally in the major US stock indices on Tuesday.
“We had a nice rally yesterday based on an oversold position. There really wasn’t anything to create a follow-through, so the buying just kind of ran out of steam,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Investors are still looking for policy developments out of China, and also wary of what might come out of the Fed next week.”
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 140.26 points, or 0.85%, to 16,352.42, the S&P 500 lost 15.82 points, or 0.8%, to 1,953.59 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 28.12 points, or 0.58%, to 4,783.81.
US job openings surged to 5.753 million in July from 5.323 million in June, Labour Department data showed, suggesting strength in the economy ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate meeting next week.
Overseas, China’s Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday the government will strengthen fiscal policy, boost infrastructure spending and speed up tax reform, adding steps to reenergize sputtering growth. The Shanghai Composite closed 2.3% higher.
Barnes & Noble fell 20% to $13 after the largest US bookstore chain reported a decline in sales for the fifth consecutive quarter.
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals sank 79% to $9.39 after its experimental bowel drug failed to meet the main goal in a late-stage study.
Netflix, which was up 4.8% at $99.50 and poised to break a seven-day losing streak, was among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,029 to 976, for a 2.08-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,688 issues fell and 1,099 advanced for a 1.54-to-1 ratio favouring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 4 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 39 new highs and 37 new lows. Reuters
Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal.