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Apple, energy shares drag Wall St lower amid China COVID protests

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Wall Street's main indexes fell on Monday as protests in major Chinese cities against strict COVID-19 policies sparked concerns over economic growth and dragged commodity-linked shares lower, while Apple slid on worries about a hit to iPhone production.

Shares of the tech giant AAPL fell 2% and weighed the most on the benchmark S&P 500 SPX index, as growing worker unrest at the world's biggest iPhone factory in China fanned fears of a deeper hit to the already constrained production of

Rare protests in major Chinese cities over the weekend against the country's strict zero-COVID curbs have hit growth expectations in the world's second-largest economy.

"If these protests continue, it could disrupt supply chains and the reopenings, a glimpse of which we saw earlier this year," said Brian Klimke, director of investment research at Cetera Financial Group.

"It will continue to weigh on investors' minds going forward."

The S&P 500 energy index SPN and the materials index S5MATR slid 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively, making them the biggest sectoral decliners as oil and metal prices dropped on China news.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies such as Bilibili Inc BILI, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA, JD.com Inc 9618, Baidu Inc BIDU and Nio Inc NIO, however, eked out gains, rising between 1% and 2.2%.

"Those that are buying might be trying to pick up some ball games on stocks that have been way beaten down or maybe they think that this is going to force the (Chinese) party's hand into relaxing some of the restrictions," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield.

At 12:29 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJI was down 270.56 points, or 0.79%, at 34,076.47, the S&P 500 SPX was down 35.13 points, or 0.87%, at 3,990.99, and the Nasdaq Composite IXIC was down 87.55 points, or 0.78%, at 11,138.80.

Trading in other growth stocks, including Microsoft Corp MSFT, Meta Platforms Inc META, Nvidia Corp NVDA, Netflix Inc NFLX and Tesla Inc TSLA, were mixed.

For the week, investors will keep a close watch on nonfarm payrolls for November, the second estimate for third-quarter gross domestic product and consumer confidence this month.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.47-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.95-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 74 new highs and 102 new lows.

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