Dow tumbles about 200 points as Apple drags tech lower

Stocks dropped on Friday as a decline in Apple pushed the technology sector lower. A rise in interest rates also kept a lid on equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 201.95 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,462.94 as Apple dropped 4.1 percent. The Nasdaq compositedeclined 1.3 percent to close at 7,146.13.

The S&P 500 pulled back 0.8 percent to 2,670.14, with tech sliding 1.5 percent. The index also broke below its 50-day moving average, a key technical indicator.

“The market is still very susceptible to technicals at this point,” said Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial. Breaking below the 50-day moving average caused a “technical washout in the market,” he said. The Nasdaq and Dow also closed below their 50-day moving averages.

Apple shares fell 4.1 percent after Morgan Stanley said the company’s iPhone sales for the June quarter will disappoint Wall Street. The stock had already fallen more than 1 percent for the week heading into Friday’s session.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.

The decline in Apple offset a 4 percent gain in General Electric. The industrial giant reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations and reaffirmed its outlook for the rest of 2018. Honeywell also posted stronger-than-expected earnings on Friday. Its stock rose 1.6 percent.

About 16 percent of the S&P 500 has released its quarterly results through Friday, with 81.5 percent of those companies posting better-than-expected earnings, according to FactSet. Next week will be the busiest week of the season, with more than a third of the S&P 500 set to report. Some of the companies scheduled to release their results include tech giants Alphabet, Intel and Microsoft.

“It remains to be seen whether there is enough enthusiasm generated by earnings to break the market higher,” said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management. “We have not seen many technology companies report earnings thus far but strong beats have received applause while IBM … remains in its multi-year penalty box.” IBM reported stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue earlier this but its stock dropped sharply on disappointing guidance.

Wall Street also kept an eye on interest rates as the 10-year Treasury yield added to strong gains for the week on Friday. The yield reached 2.96 percent — its highest level since 2014 — while the two-year yield rose to its highest level in a decade.

Bank stocks rose on the back of higher rates Friday. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) and the Bank ETF (KBE) both rose more than 0.7 percent.

In economic news, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said further escalation of trade tensions could raise worries about the global economic recovery. Brainard added, however, the U.S. economy appears capable of handling tighter monetary policy.

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