U.S. stocks fell at the start of trading, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, at 9:31 a.m. New York time.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.3 percent to 1,415.67. There were 142 stocks that rose and 307 that fell. Apple Inc. (AAPL), down 3.2 percent to $512.87, led the decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 percent to 13,159.82. For the year, the S&P 500 has gained 12.6 percent and the Dow has added 7.7 percent.
Facebook Inc. was the most-active U.S. stock. Trading totaled 3.4 million shares. Other actively traded shares included Bank of America Corp., Best Buy Co., Apple Inc., and Clearwire Corp.
Apple Inc. dragged the S&P 500's value down by 1.76 points, more than any other stock, followed by Schlumberger Ltd. at 0.44 point and Qualcomm Inc. at 0.35 point. Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) limited the index’s loss the most, lifting its value by 0.12 point, followed by PPG Industries Inc. at 0.10 point and CVS Caremark Corp. at 0.09 point.
S&P 500 futures expiring in March fell 2.30 points to 1,409.70, a premium of 1.37 points to the index's fair value. The futures are fairly valued at a discount of 7.34 to the underlying cash index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent to 279.23. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a measure of shares in nations using the common currency, retreated 0.1 percent to 2,624.53. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed less than 0.1 percent to 127.26.
Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell to 1.71 percent from 1.73 percent. The Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell 0.1 percent to 79.860.