* Apple falls on downgrade, weighs on tech
* Boeing slips as Saudi airline dumps MAX order
* Indexes down: Dow 0.5%, S&P 0.6%, Nasdaq 0.8% (Updates to late afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Monday, pressured by a drop in Apple Inc following a broker downgrade, and as investors toned down expectations of an aggressive interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month.
Apple Inc fell 2.1% and was the biggest drag on all three main Wall Street indexes. Rosenblatt Securities downgraded the iPhone maker’s shares to “sell” from “neutral,” and said it expected the company to face “fundamental deterioration” in the next six to 12 months.
The technology index was down 0.8%, while the healthcare index dropped 0.9%, weighed down by President Donald Trump’s recent statement about an upcoming executive order that would lower prescription drug prices.
Surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data on Friday has forced traders to temper hopes of a sharp rate cut at the central bank’s July 30-31 policy meeting, even as a reduction is still expected.
“That’s kind of concerning the market if just from the standpoint of the market’s done well and now it’s a matter of, were Friday’s numbers too positive, and might we not get the cuts investors were hoping for,” said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio.
“That’s put a cloud over the market as well.”
Investors might get an opportunity to gauge near-term monetary policy thinking during Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s semi-annual testimony to the U.S. Congress on July 10-11. Also ahead are the central bank’s June meeting minutes, scheduled for release on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140.12 points, or 0.52%, to 26,782, the S&P 500 lost 16.9 points, or 0.57%, to 2,973.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 68.69 points, or 0.84%, to 8,093.10.
Investor attention is also expected to turn to the start of the second-quarter earnings season next week. Profits for S&P 500 companies are expected to have dipped 0.1% from a year ago, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Boeing Co fell 1.5% after Saudi Arabian budget airline flyadeal said it would not proceed with a provisional $5.9 billion order for the planemaker’s grounded 737 MAX aircraft, instead opting for a fleet of Airbus A320 jets.
Symantec Corp rose 2.8% after Jefferies said the cybersecurity firm is a “logical financial acquisition” amid reports Broadcom Inc is in advanced talks for a deal.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.85-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.46-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 37 new highs and 46 new lows. (Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta and Tom Brown)