* Apple, Microsoft, Facebook drive Nasdaq, S&P lower
* VIX, defensive S&P sectors gain
* Indexes down: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.56 pct, Nasdaq 1.04 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
June 15 Technology shares were under pressure
yet again on Thursday, pulling lower all the three major Wall
Street indexes, as investors fretted about bloated valuations.
The technology sector has risen 16.7 percent this year, far
outperforming other sectors and giving investors a chance to
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has also surged 13.7
percent, compared with the S&P 500's 8.2 percent gain for the
However, fortunes turned last Friday after a drop in Apple's
shares triggered a selloff and led to the tech sector's
biggest two-day decline in nearly a year.
"The huge tech run was impressive and has come to a point
where people want to take some money off the table and preserve
profits," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn capital
in Benardsville, New Jersey.
Investors are also concerned about the U.S. economy's
ability to withstand a third interest rate hike later this year
and the Federal Reserve's plans to trim its balance sheet,
especially after a recent set of lackluster economic data.
A Washington Post report that President Donald Trump was
being investigated for possible obstruction of justice added to
Bakhos said the report was "adding a little angst to the
market and moved investors to choose a risk-off path."
The CBOE Volatility index, or Wall Street's "fear
gauge", hit 11.61 points - its biggest percentage gain in nearly
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower.
The gainers were utilities, real estate
and telecom services, whose slow but steady growth
makes them attractive during periods of uncertainty.
At 11:03 a.m. ET (1503 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was down 59.58 points, or 0.28 percent, at
21,314.98, the S&P 500 was down 13.7 points, or 0.56
percent, at 2,424.22 and the Nasdaq Composite was down
64.29 points, or 1.04 percent, at 6,130.60.
Among stocks, Kroger was down 12.5 percent after the
supermarket chain operator cut its full-year profit forecast.
Mattel was down 7.2 percent at $20.63 after the
toymaker cut its dividend.
One bright spot was a Labor Department report that showed
fewer-than-expected Americans applied for unemployment benefits
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,063
to 730. On the Nasdaq, 1,906 issues fell and 770 advanced.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by