* Apple demand worries drag on S&P, Nasdaq
* Dell up after report it is in talks to go private
* Obama urges congressional Republicans to raise debt
* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq off 0.3
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended
lower on Monday as worries over demand for Apple products drove
down its shares and investors braced for earnings
Running counter to that was Dell Inc's stock which
jumped 13 percent to about a five-month high at $12.29 after
Bloomberg reported the No. 3 personal computer maker is in talks
with private equity firms to go private. Dell's gains offset
some tech-sector weakness.
Tech heavyweight Apple lost 3.6 percent to $501.75
and was the biggest weight on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100
indexes after reports the company has cut orders for LCD
screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter due to
weak demand. The stock hit a session low of $498.51, the first
dip below $500 since Feb. 16.
"With Apple, it seems as if the sentiment has shifted from
this being the one stock that everybody wanted to own to people
beginning to look at it as a company (whose) business is slowing
down somewhat," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of
North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
Adding to investor unease, fourth-quarter earnings kick into
high gear this week. Analyst estimates for the quarter have
fallen sharply since October. S&P 500 earnings growth is now
seen up just 1.9 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 18.89 points,
or 0.14 percent, at 13,507.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was down 1.37 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,470.68. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.13 points, or 0.26
percent, at 3,117.50.
Apple suppliers also lost ground, with Cirrus Logic
off 9.4 percent at $28.62 and Qualcomm down 1 percent
The Dow fared better than the other two indexes, helped in
part by Hewlett-Packard shares, which rose 4.9 percent
to $16.95. The stock, up early in the session after JPMorgan
upgraded its rating on the shares and raised its price target to
$21 from $15, added to gains following the Dell report.
Tech has "become the arena for private equity or other
capital-restructuring type of maneuvers because of the way their
valuations and their balance sheets are," Kuby said.
Appliance and electronics retailer Hhgregg Inc
slumped 5.7 percent to $7.44 after the company cut its
same-store sales forecast for the full year.
Earnings reports are due this week from Goldman Sachs
, Bank of America, Intel and General
Electric, among other companies. Third-quarter reports
ended with a gain of just 0.1 percent, the worst for an S&P 500
profit period in three years, according to Thomson Reuters data.
President Barack Obama warned Congress at a news conference
on Monday that a refusal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling next
month could mean a government shutdown and trigger economic
S&P futures had little reaction to comments after the bell
by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who urged lawmakers to
lift the country's borrowing limit to avoid a debt default.
Volume was roughly 5.6 billion shares traded on the New York
Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the
2012 average daily closing volume of about 6.45 billion.
Decliners were about even with advancers on the NYSE while
decliners outpaced advancers on the Nasdaq by about 12 to 11.