Stocks fell on Tuesday as investors took profits in the technology and banking sectors while a drop in U.S. exports in March and multiple stock offerings from various companies dampened enthusiasm.

Among the heaviest weights were JPMorgan Chase & Co off 3.7 percent at $34.50 and American Express , down 3.5 percent at $25.13. The KBW Bank Index <.BKX> dropped 5.3 percent, but is still more than double its March 9 closing level.

In the technology sector, Apple Inc contributed the most to the Nasdaq's decline. Apple's stock fell 3.6 percent to $124.89. The Nasdaq 100 technology index <.NDXT> fell 2 percent, but was still 35 percent higher than its March lows.

On the economic front, data showed the U.S. trade gap widened in March for the first time in eight months, and exports fell 2.4 percent.

Tech products are included in the trade deficit. If there wasn't much exporting going on, tech would be in that mix, said Kim Caughey, senior investment analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

She also said the decline in tech shares could be the result of investors booking profits after their recent spike.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 21.58 points, or 0.26 percent, to 8,397.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 8.76 points, or 0.96 percent, to 900.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slid 26.12 points, or 1.51 percent, to 1,705.12.

Shares of Ford fell 11.4 percent to $5.39 a day after the automaker announced an offering of 300 million shares, while the Bank of New York Mellon said it sold $1.2 billion of common stock and its stock lost 3.4 percent to $28.55.

Everyone is also watching the issuance of secondary (stock) offerings' Caughey added.

Energy companies' shares gained as U.S. crude oil futures rose 40 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $58.90 per barrel. Exxon Mobil Corp shares rose 1.7 percent to $70.47.

Drug makers Merck & Co Inc and Pfizer Inc
helped support the blue-chip Dow average and limited its decline. Pfizer gained 5.3 percent to $14.90 and Merck added 1.9 percent to $24.87.

Since hitting 12-year closing lows in early March, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 are up around 30 percent.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)