U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with Wall Street recording its first negative start to a year in six, as a downgrade of Apple hit technology shares and another set of better-than-expected economic reports failed to move investors.
"I think the big issue is just how long investor enthusiasm lasts. It has certainly raced ahead of the fundamentals," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.
"The trend in the data really isn't the problem, they suggest we're getting some improvement in the fundamentals. But the markets have been superlative, and you can only keep that up for so long. At some point we get a stronger corrective pullback than we've seen in the last few years or so," McCain added.
Apple fell after Wells Fargo downgraded its stock to market perform from outperform. Analog Devices dropped percent after Goldman Sachs Group reduced the circuit manufacturer to sell from neutral and Wells Fargo cut the stock to market perform from outperform. Newmont Mining rallied along with the price of gold.