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US: Apple drags down Wall Street

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[NEW YORK] Apple weighed on the three major US stock indexes on Thursday morning, a day after the tech giant unveiled the new iPhone 7 that failed to impress Wall Street.

Shares of Apple fell 2.1 per cent, their steepest decline since June 24 when the markets witnessed a broad selloff after the result of the Brexit vote.

The S&P 500 information technology index fell 0.51 per cent and was the biggest loser among the benchmark's 10 major sectors.

Investor reaction to an unexpected drop in weekly jobless claims and the European Central Bank's decision was largely muted.

US stocks have been trading in a tight range in recent months, even as they hover near record levels, due to growing uncertainty over interest rates.

The S&P 500 index has not moved more than 1 per cent in either direction on a daily basis since July 8.

At 9:33 am ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 54.17 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 18,471.97.

The S&P 500 was down 4.85 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 2,181.31.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 17.50 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 5,266.42.

Oil prices rose more than 1.5 per cent after US industry data showed a large drawdown in crude stocks, reflecting the temporary impact of an Atlantic storm. The S&P energy index was the only gainer on Thursday.

Tractor Supply plunged 16 per cent to US$70.51 after the home improvement and pet care products retailer lowered its full-year forecast. The stock was the top percentage loser on the S&P.

Tesla fell 1.5 per cent to US$198.63 after Cowen & Co began coverage of the stock with an "underperform" rating.

AbbVie was down 2.1 per cent after JPMorgan downgraded the drugmaker's stock to "neutral" from "overweight" Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,457 to 1,022. On the Nasdaq, 1,213 issues fell and 902 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and four new lows.