Apple slide drags on Wall Street; yen weakens

Thu May 12, 2016 4:22pm EDT
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By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The yen lost ground against the U.S. dollar on Thursday amid speculation Japan could expand its monetary stimulus soon, while a drop in Apple shares dragged the Nasdaq lower in a volatile trading day.

Oil prices settled higher after a roller-coaster session that saw U.S. crude touch a six-month high. U.S. Treasury prices fell after comments from a Federal Reserve official suggested interest rates could rise faster than some investors expect.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 9.38 points, or 0.05 percent, to 17,720.5 and the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.35 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,064.11.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 23.35 points, or 0.49 percent, to 4,737.33.

Stocks had posted sharp declines on Wednesday following a strong rally a day earlier.

"Volatility has made a huge comeback," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "There seems to be a lack of confidence about a sustained rally."

Apple (AAPL.O: Quote) shares fell 2.4 percent to a two-year low on concerns about iPhone demand. The stock was the biggest drag on all three major indexes.

"While we are technically still in a bull market, it’s been more of a consolidation for the past year, so when you see your leaders like that turn lower, I think people get a little bit concerned," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.   Continued...

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 11, 2016.     REUTERS/Staff/Remote