New York Report: Bearish Icahn sees stocks fall off new highs

THE S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended lower last night while the Dow failed to close above its milestone level of 16,000 as stocks sold off late in the session following Carl Icahn’s cautious comments on the equities market.

The Dow and the S&P 500 retreated from record levels with less than an hour to go in yesterday’s session.

The Nasdaq, which had been down slightly for most of the day, fell 1.1 per cent to a session low.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit, Icahn said he is “very cautious” on the stock market, saying he could see a “big drop” because earnings at many companies are fueled more by low borrowing costs rather than the strength of management.

He also hinted at his plan for Apple, the most valuable US stock by market value, saying he does not want to fight with its management. He also said he has no plans to walk away from his investment. The stock extended losses following his comments, ending down 1.2 per cent at $518.63 last night.

The Nasdaq was hammered by a sell-off in social media and cloud-related stocks, including Facebook, down 6.5 per cent at $45.83.

Tesla also extended losses, down more than 10 per cent at $121.58. The electric car maker’s stock has lost nearly 24 per cent for the month so far.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.32 points, or 0.09 per cent, to end at 15,976.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 6.65 points, or 0.37 per cent, to finish at 1,791.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 36.9 points, or 0.93 per cent, to end at 3,949.07.