Technology stocks lead latest dip in trading on US markets

New York, US technology stocks led by shares in Apple and

other multinationals dropped sharply Monday as concern about interest

rates and the strengthening dollar persisted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued a slide that started Friday, falling 602 points, or 2.32 per cent, to 25,387.18 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its close was just above its low for the day. The other two closely tracked US indices also were down. The Standard and Poor's 500 was off 54 points, or nearly 2 per cent, to 2,726.22, and the Nasdaq Composit lost 206 points, or about 2.8 per cent, falling to 7,200.87.

The last several weeks of trading have been volatile for all three indices, though each remains up from their level a the beginninng of the year.

Apple shares closed down more than 5 per cent at 194.17 dollars, with some reports that investors were worried about weak demand for iPhones. Intel, Cisco, Amazon and Microsoft were among the other losing technology stocks. General Electric saw its shares drop nearly 7 per cent to 7.99 dollars after chief executive Larry Culp said in an interview with CNBC he feels the "urgency" to reduce the company's leverage and will do so through asset sales. GE shares have fallen about 20 per cent this month.

On currency markets, the dollar rallied while the euro slumped to 1.12 against the dollar, its weakest in more than 16 months.

Markets continue to be concerned about interest rates after the US Federal Reserve signalled last week it would continue to increase them, a move that could make equities less attractive.

Source: Saudi Press Agency