U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, led by a retreat in the technology heavy Nasdaq index after a report on Chinese search engine Baidu.com (NASDAQ: BIDU) predicted lower revenue for the firm, triggering a broader sell off in the Tech sector.
J.P. Morgan said Beijing-based Baidu's third-quarter sales would be lower, although it kept a positive outlook for the firm in the long term. American depository receipts of Baidu sank $34.39, or 10 percent, to $308.78. Despite the decline, Baidu stock is up 154 percent in the past six months.
The announcement triggered losses in other recently hot technology stocks.
Internet search giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) lost $3.39 to $622 after reaching a high of $641.41 and computer and consumer electronics maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined $4.56, or 2.7 percent to $162.23. Wireless device-maker Research In Motion fell 5 percent to $111.
The S&P 500 Information Technology Index was down 1.3 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 63.57 points, or 0.45 percent, to close at 14,015.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 8.06 points, or 0.52 percent, to end at 1,554.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 39.41 points, or 1.40 percent, to finish at 2,772.20.
Stocks had started the day strongly, after leading U.S retailer Wal-Mart Stores said it would increase its earnings outlook for the current quarter on lower costs. It expects third-quarter profit to reach as much as 69 cents per share, higher than a previous estimate of 65 cents. Shares rose $1.31, or 2.9 percent to close at $46.90.
The Dow Jones Industrial average reached a record high of 14,198.10 and the S&P 500 climbed to an intraday all-time peak of 1,576.09. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq had risen to its highest point since 2001, reaching 2,834.00.
Other retailers didnâ€™t fare as well. Shares of Target were down 1.8 percent to $64.42 and J.C. Penney fell 7 percent to $63.27.