US STOCKS-Wall St drops on Apple weakness, dollar concerns
* Indexes off: Dow 1.34 pct, S&P 1.35 pct, Nasdaq 1.65 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were sharply lower moving into the latter stages of trading on Thursday, weighed down by a drop in Apple shares, as each of the major indexes fell more than one percent and the S&P broke below a key support level.
Apple shares, down 3 percent to $98.69, were the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes, after it withdrew an update to its new operating system.
In broad selling, each of the ten major S&P sectors was in negative territory, with the S&P technology index the worst performer, down 1.9 percent. The S&P 500 also broke through its 50-day moving average around 1,976, a key support level which the index had been able to rebound off of when recently tested.
Adding to concerns for investors was the continued strength of the dollar and the possible impact on corporate earnings. The greenback is up 0.2 percent on the session against a basket of major currencies and up 6.9 percent for the quarter, its biggest quarterly increase in six years.
"I don't get too worried about dollar strength. Of course, the hard part is this is kind of a historic sized move here, so certainly individual companies have to worry perhaps about the impact," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia.
"It's pretty easy to say you should expect that to roll through some of the earnings reports to some extent, because you don't often see those kind of moves."
Durable goods orders dropped 18.2 percent in August, largely in-line with expectations, while initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 293,000 for the week ended Sept. 20, below the 300,000 forecast, indicating an acceleration in job growth for the month. Continuación...