By Lewis Krauskopf
(Reuters) -- Wall Street fell on Thursday as a recent selloff in technology stocks deepened and investors fretted about the economy's health as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
The S&P technology sector fell 0.5 percent, continuing a slide that began last Friday, although it had been down more earlier. Apple shares fell 0.8 percent while Google parent Alphabet dropped 1 percent after separate bearish analysts reports on the two tech heavyweights.
The consumer discretionary sector dropped 0.5 percent, as Amazon.com shares fell 1.4 percent. Nike was off 3.3 percent after the company said it would cut about 2 percent of its global workforce and eliminate a quarter of its shoe styles.
Tech and consumer discretionary have been among the sectors that have charged the benchmark S&P 500's 8.5-percent rally this year.
"You seem to be losing some momentum in the big growth names that have led the market so far this year," said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina. "At the same time, the economic data has just not been good enough to get investors excited about buying into other areas of the market."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.71 points, or 0.12 percent, to 21,347.85, the S&P 500 lost 6.87 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,431.05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.08 points, or 0.55 percent, to 6,160.82.
Financials and energy, sectors that should thrive during economic expansions, also sold off, dropping 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
Real estate and utilities, which are high-dividend paying groups known as "bond proxies", gained 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields tumbled to their lowest since early November on Wednesday after surprisingly weak data on inflation and retail sales overshadowed the Fed's interest rate hike.
"If your best performing sectors are real estate and utilities, it's a good sign that interest rates are dominating the equity market," said Brian Nick, chief investment strategist with TIAA Investments, an affiliate of Nuveen.
Following disappointing economic data on Wednesday, a report showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to shrinking labor market slack that could allow the Fed to raise interest rates again this year despite moderate inflation growth.
In other corporate news, Kroger shares tumbled 18.9 percent after the supermarket chain slashed its full-year profit forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.83-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favored decliners.