Falling Apple leads market retreat from four-year high

U.S. stocks turned lower Tuesday, with the S&P 500 index retreating from a four-year high as Apple’s drop overshadowed optimism that Europe would move to contain its debt crisis.

“We were more impressed by something that was said in Atlanta than what was said in Germany,” said Art Hogan, equity strategist at Lazard Capital Markets of hawkish comments by Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart.

The market also faced resistance at multi-year highs, and was also looking for a reason to pullback, Hogan added.

After climbing 59 points, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 68.06 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,203.58.

The S&P 500 index slid 4.96 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,413.17.

Since its Oct. 9, 2007 high, the market is down 9.4 percent overall, but information technology is up 16.6 percent, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Take out Apple, and technology is down 4.1 percent,” he said.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 8.95 points, or 0.3 percent, at 3,067.26.

Tuesday’s drop is the biggest hit for all three indexes since Aug. 2.

Apple Inc. shares turned lower along with reports the technology company and Samsung Electronics Co. had failed to settle a potentially costly patent dispute, with a federal judge Tuesday afternoon starting to read instructions to a jury in San Jose, Calif.

Shares of Apple finished at $656.06, down $9.09 or 1.4 percent.

Before the gains evaporated, equities had been positioned to close above four-year highs.


Low water levels restrict shipping along Mississippi

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say low water levels that are restricting shipping traffic, forcing harbor closures and causing towboats and barges to run aground on the Mississippi River are expected to continue into October.

Major Gen. John W. Peabody, commander of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division, said Tuesday that five harbors in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi are closed and several others have limited access due to low water levels along the nation’s most vital inland waterway.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard says more than 100 towboats and barges remain backed up near Greenville, Miss. The Coast Guard opened an 11-mile stretch of river that had been closed near Greenville, replacing it with a five-mile zone where only light vessels can pass.


FAME OKs financing for Apothecary by Design

AUGUSTA — The Finance Authority of Maine has approved financing for Portland-based Apothecary by Design LLC, allowing the company to create and retain 38 jobs.

The action by FAME’s board will help the company to make upgrades at its headquarters and to fund improvements at an additional facility. FAME has supported the company by providing loan insurance on loans made by Bangor Saving Bank since the company started in 2008.

Apothecary by Design is a locally owned, independent pharmacy offering a range of integrated pharmacy services that include retail prescription and other services.