The Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing index for the New York region fell for a second straight month in September.
“An unexpected deterioration in New York Manufacturing activity to the lowest level since April 2009 is offering no relief for sentiment,” said Charles Schwab & Co. analysts.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished off 40.27 points (0.30 percent) at 13,553.10.
The S&P 500 slid 4.58 (0.31 percent) to 1,461.19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq shed 5.28 (0.17 percent) at 3,178.67.
“We have concerns regarding the impact of QE3 on oil and gasoline prices and the growing anti-American unrest in the Middle East,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at DA Davidson & Co.
Apple again grabbed the stocks spotlight after announcing its new iPhone 5 set a new pre-release order record, at more than two million orders in the first 24 hours, leaving the gadget maker short of supply of the hotly anticipated smartphone.
Apple closed within a hair of $700 a share, up 1.2 percent at a record $699.78, giving the world’s most valuable firm a market worth of nearly $656 billion.
Ford Motor Co. fell 1.3 percent. After the market close, the Canadian Auto Workers union announced a tentative agreement on a four-year contract with Ford Canada, averting a strike scheduled to start at midnight. Ford was up 0.2 percent in after-hours trade.
In merger and acquisition news, home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies slipped 0.6 percent after withdrawing its acquisition bid for Canada’s RONA Inc.
Rival retailer Home Depot fell 0.9 percent.
Financials were under pressure after scoring strong gains last week on the back of the Fed’s new open-ended QE3 bond-buying stimulus. Bank of America led the Dow decliners, shedding 2.6 percent. Fellow Dow member JPMorgan Chase lost 0.9 percent.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.84 percent from 1.87 percent Friday, while the 30-year yield dropped to 3.03 percent from 3.09 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
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