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Stocks Fall Sharply on First Day of Trading in New Year

Image: Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph Shrader, center, and guests attend the opening bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 2.
Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph Shrader, center, and guests attend the opening bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 2, 2014. Mark Lennihan / AP

Stocks fell sharply on Thursday, after closing out 2013 with double-digit gains, as a downgrade of Apple hit the technology sector and investors bypassed a decline in jobless claims and a strong manufacturing report.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 133 points lower in afternoon trading, with Cisco Systems leading losses that extended to all but three of its 30 components.The S&P 500 declined almost 1 percent, with technology the hardest hit of the index's 10 major industry sectors, all of which were in the red. The Nasdaq lost nearly 1 percent.

A Labor Department report said applications for unemployment benefits fell by 2,000 to 339,000 last week.Separate data from the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index came in better than expected in December.