Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stocks Fall Amid Greece Concerns, Apple Pullback

Stocks Decline Greece Concerns - Apple Pullback

U.S. stocks fell amid concern Greece was moving closer to default as Apple (AAPL) Inc. pared gains and Deere & Co. sank after forecasting slower demand from farmers.

By  Rita Nazareth – Wed Feb 15, 2012   1:53 PM Bloomberg

Apple rose 0.1 percent, trimming a 3.3 percent rally, amid reports that the company has pulled its iPad from Inc. in China. Deere & Co., the largest maker of agricultural equipment, fell 3.5 percent after lowering its forecast for U.S. farmer revenue. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, rallied 5.1 percent after authorizing a $6.5 billion buyback as profit jumped 26 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.3 percent to 1,346.96 at 1:50 p.m. New York time, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.51 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,793.77 today.

“It was the perfect storm waiting to happen,” Peter Sorrentino, a fund manager who helps oversee $14.5 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said in a phone interview. “Too many people were positive on Apple. All it takes is a person to yell the emperor has no clothes and people head for the exits,” he said. “Plus, there’s not a real strong case that this market was poised dramatically higher. People just keep trying to delay the Greece situation.”

Global equities rallied as China pledged to invest in Europe’s bailout funds and sustain its holdings of euro assets. Stocks pared gains as Reuters reported that euro area finance officials are investigating delaying parts or all of the second bailout while still avoiding a disorderly default.


Patent Dispute

Stocks reversed gains as Apple, the nation’s biggest company by market value, tumbled as much as 1.5 percent. Marbridge Consulting said the company asked Amazon China and other websites to stop selling the iPad amid a patent dispute.

Production at U.S. factories increased in January, reflecting gains in demand for U.S.-made automobiles and business equipment that may keep manufacturing at the forefront of the expansion. The Federal Reserve today releases minutes of its last meeting when policy makers decided to extend the central bank’s pledge to keep borrowing costs low until at least late 2014.

The S&P 500 yesterday closed about 1 percent away from its peak nine months ago of 1,363.61, which was the highest level since June 2008. The index has risen 7.1 percent this year as the U.S. economy showed signs of accelerating and European leaders moved closer to a solution on the region’s debt crisis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at