U.S. stocks closed about 1 percent lower or more Thursday, as fresh declines in Apple weighed on the major averages. ( Tweet This )
"The market had been losing momentum coming into the week as the tech stocks were coming in with weaker numbers," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.
"Apple is in many different kinds of portfolios, it's in the Dow. When it takes a beating it's going to pressure markets," she said.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 1 percent for the first time since Feb. 23, and off more than 200 points for the first time since Feb. 11, the so-called "Dimon" bottom. Overall, the Dow also had its worst daily performance since Feb. 11 with a loss of 1.17 percent.
The Dow and S&P 500 ended the day within 3 percent of their 52-week intraday highs, while the Nasdaq composite was more than 8 percent below that high.
Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, said stocks tested Wednesday's highs before "we just started bleeding lower and Apple (taking a) leg lower on Carl Icahn comments weighing on the broader market as well, given its influence on that."
"It's still pretty quiet. People want to move on from (month-end)," he said.
Apple closed down 3.08 percent, off session lows but following a more than 6 percent plunge Wednesday on disappointing earnings. Activist investor Carl Icahn told CNBC's "Power Lunch" Thursday afternoon that "we no longer have a position in Apple" while noting the firm is a "great company."
Earlier, the indexes attempted to recover most or all of their opening losses, helped by gains in Facebook, as stocks mostly shook off pressure from sharp declines in the Nikkei 225 overnight after the Bank of Japan kept policy unchanged.
The "Bank of Japan doesn't have a big effect on the U.S. stock market today. The U.S. is still in much better shape economically from a central bank perspective," said Ben Pace, CIO at HPM Partners.
Facebook closed up 7.2 percent after briefly rising rose more than 10.5 percent to hit a fresh all-time high in intraday trade. The firm reported quarterly earnings well above expectations on both the top and bottom line, helped by a sharp increase in mobile advertising revenue. The social media giant also proposed a new share structure.