January 29, 2010 / 8:16 PM / 8 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St falls on euro worry, tech drop

* Euro-zone fiscal problems spur some risk aversion

* Apple and Microsoft lead tech sector’s decline

* Dow off 0.3 pct, S&P off 0.6 pct; Nasdaq off 1.3 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday, erasing an earlier advance, as worries about fiscal turmoil in Europe and a drop in technology stocks offset positive reports on the U.S. economy.

Questions about the fiscal stability of Greece, Portugal and Spain weighed on investors’ sentiment and caused them to avoid riskier assets, putting the S&P 500 on track for its worst monthly decline in 11 months.

“That is what was bringing in a lot of the selling during the week. It’s still out there. I don’t think it’s going away,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

Earlier in the session, the major U.S. stock indexes rose more than 1 percent after a host of reports showed the U.S. economy grew at a much stronger-than-expected pace during the fourth quarter, while consumer sentiment and Midwestern business activity also improved in January. For details, see [ID:nN28246399]

But the broader market lost ground by midday as investors sold off shares of such technology bellwethers as Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N).

“It’s what we’ve been seeing across the board with all companies that are coming in with good earnings — they don’t go up, and if you are not going to go up on good news, what is going to take you up?” Mendelsohn added.

The PHLX Semiconductor index .SOXX dropped 3.7 percent, weighed down by a soft profit forecast from flash memory maker SanDisk Corp SNDK.O, which tumbled 12.3 percent to $25.25. [ID:nN28107322]

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 28.80 points, or 0.28 percent, to 10,091.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX fell 6.81 points, or 0.63 percent, to 1,077.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC lost 28.60 points, or 1.31 percent, to 2,150.40.

Shares of Apple lost 3.9 percent to $191.60 and ranked as the heaviest weight on the Nasdaq, while Microsoft’s stock fell 4.4 percent to $27.89. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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