US STOCKS-Wall St drops as biotechs, semis stumble

miércoles 25 de marzo de 2015 14:18 GYT

* Durable goods data unexpectedly weak

* Kraft, Kofax surge on separate M&A deals

* Indexes off: Dow 1.11 pct, S&P 0.89 pct, Nasdaq 1.6 pct (Updates to afternoon trade, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with losses accelerating after short-term technical indicators failed, while recent winners stumbled as investors cashed in towards the end of the quarter after a gauge of industrial orders unexpectedly fell last month.

Losses on the S&P 500 accelerated around mid-session after the benchmark dropped below a support level near 2,085, but managed to hold above its 50-day moving average around 2,067.

"It's the 50-day if there is anything technical involved right now. The 50-day is at 2,067, we bounced right off of that," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

Semiconductors and biotech stocks were among the worst performers, on track for a third straight session of declines after strong gains in the prior week.

An index of biotechnology shares was down 3.3 percent for the session and on track to close below its 14-day average for the first time since Feb. 11. The PHLX semiconductor index was off 3.9 percent and on pace for its biggest percentage decline since Oct. 10.   Continuación...