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US: Wall St dips as Apple adds to fears of weakening demand


[WASHINGTON] US stocks were lower on Tuesday morning, dragged down by Apple, as investors worried about China's economic health and braced for an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

At 9.35 am ET (1435 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 28.73 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 17,701.75.

The S&P 500 was down 1.96 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 2,076.62 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 24.39 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 5,070.92.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the information technology sector's 0.74 per cent fall leading the decliners.

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Apple's shares fell 2.5 per cent to US$117.52 after Credit Suisse said the iPhone maker had lowered component orders by as much as 10 per cent. The stock was the biggest drag on the three major indexes.

The report on Apple added to fears of a slowdown in global growth, especially in China, a key market for many US companies including Apple, ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.

China's October inflation data on Tuesday showed persisting, if not intensifying, deflationary pressure. That followed disappointing trade data out of the world's second-largest economy over the weekend.

US stocks closed lower on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average slipping into negative territory for the year.

The three major U.S. indexes are coming off a six-week rally buoyed by better-than-expected earnings reports that helped lift Wall Street sentiments. "Being that the market is not on firm footing, this market is susceptible to profit taking and a consolidation period after this quite impressive rally off of the lows in late September,"said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.