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Wall St falls on Apple shares, bank stocks

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Wall Street has ended lower after bank stocks erased earlier gains and Apple shares fell on a report saying the company plans to slow hiring and spending growth next year.

After posting solid gains to start the session following earnings from Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the S&P financial sector weakened into the close.

Apple shares reversed course to close down 2.1 per cent at $US147.1 ($A215.2) on a Bloomberg report that said the company plans to slow hiring and spending growth next year in some units to cope with a potential economic downturn.

Goldman Sachs advanced 2.5 per cent as it reported a smaller-than-expected 48 per cent slump in second-quarter profit, helped by strength in its fixed-income trading.

Worries about a larger one percentage point rate hike at the end of July eased following remarks from Fed officials last week that the policymakers could stick to a 75 basis point hike.

"It's really hard to sustain upward momentum," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. "And that's kind of the story of bear markets."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 215.65 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 31,072.61, the S&P 500 lost 32.31 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 3,830.85 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 92.37 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 11,360.05.

Nine of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 lost ground, with healthcare and utilities suffering the largest percentage drop, while energy took the biggest gain.

Earnings from big technology companies next week will be closely watched, after their shares came under immense selling pressure through much of this year.

Among other tech stocks, Google parent Alphabet fell 2.5 per cent. IBM declined 1.3 per cent.

Volume on US exchanges was 10.63 billion shares, compared with the 12.15 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.20-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 31 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 30 new highs and 78 new lows.

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