Apple Drives Wall Street Lower Amid Greek Concern

Stocks fell on Wednesday for the third session in four, with market direction largely dictated by the swings in shares of Apple, the largest company in the world.

Stocks closed lower on Wednesday for the third session in four, with market direction largely dictated by the swings in shares of Apple, the world's largest company in market value. Photo: MD111/Flickr

US stocks declined on Wednesday led by Apple amid growing concern Greece was moving closer to default and as the Federal Reserve said policy makers were divided on buying more assets, reports City Wire.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 97 points, or 0.76%, to 12,781. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost seven points, or 0.54%, to 1,343. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 16 points, or 0.55%, to 2,916.

But Apple, the largest company by market capitalization, turned negative around midday and closed down 2.3 percent to $497.67, quickly reversing the Nasdaq index’s advance.

The stock had climbed as high as $526.29 during the session, according to Reuters.

A Chinese technology firm is trying to ban shipments of Apple’s iPad tablet in and out of the country in a legal battle over the iPad name.

An Apple spokeswoman referred to the company’s website that says Amazon is not an authorized reseller of iPads in China or the United States.

“This morning, in a bout of panic buying, Apple was up another 17 points, dragging a reluctant market along with it,” said Larry McMillan, president of McMillan Analysis Corp. in Morristown, New Jersey, in a report.

The sharp decline “broke the market, and for the first time in quite a while, an early rally has degenerated into afternoon selling, The Age reports.

The S&P hit a peak of 1,355.87, just shy of its July 2011 high. A break above that level would take the benchmark to its strongest since at least May of last year.

“You are looking at good old exhaustion inside of the market,” said Keith Bliss, senior vice president at Cuttone & Co in New York. “From a technical standpoint, we had strong resistance at 1350, 1355 in the market, and there was no real appetite to get through it.”

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 97.33 points, or 0.76 percent, to 12,780.95. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX lost 7.27 points, or 0.54 percent, to 1,343.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 16.00 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,915.83.

European Union finance officials postponed a decision on €130 billion of aid to Greece until at least 20 February and possibly until after a full-time Greek government emerges from elections later in the year. That revived concerns about the region’s debt crisis.

U.S. manufacturing output rose solidly in January and a gauge of factory activity in New York state hit a 1-1/2-year high in February, adding to a run of fairly upbeat data, even though overall industrial production was flat last month.

In Asia, Australian lenders and mining companies led stocks lower today in morning session after the decision on a second bailout for Greece was postponed and Westpac Banking reported lower earnings.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.7% to 126 as of 10:38 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi Index declined 0.9%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.5% even after a report showed the nation’s employers added more jobs expected. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.7%. In China, Shanghai Composite Index was little changed.

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