NEW YORK — The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped the most in two weeks as disappointing results from Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo! rippled through technology stocks.

NEW YORK — The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped the most in two weeks as disappointing results from Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo! rippled through technology stocks.


Apple fell 4.2 percent after iPhone sales and revenue forecast missed estimates. Microsoft lost 3.7 percent after posting its largest-ever quarterly loss. Yahoo forecast sales that were below projections, sending its shares lower. Chipotle Mexican Grill jumped 7.8 percent after quarterly profit beat estimates and the company announced a stock buyback.


The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.7 percent to 5,171.77 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased 0.2 percent to 2,114.15. A bank rally, as well as positive results from Whirlpool Corp. and Chipotle, helped temper the benchmark’s decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 68.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,851.04.


"Investors are cautious because some of the bigger names have missed expectations," said Robert Pavlik, who helps oversee $9.1 billion as chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. "The two giants reporting is what’s causing the weakness today. Earnings season really isn’t that bad."


Hopes were high for the industry as earnings season began, with technology shares leading a rebound in U.S. equities after overseas tensions eased. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied to an all-time high on July 17 after Google Inc. surged 16 percent on its results, adding $65 billion to its market capitalization.


Apple slid after releasing results late Tuesday. IPhone shipments for the fiscal third quarter and the company’s revenue forecast for the current period missed analysts’ projections, raising questions over whether demand for the device has peaked.


As Apple’s biggest fall in nearly 18 months wiped more than $32 billion from its value, its results hit shares of suppliers worldwide. Cirrus Logic, Skyworks Solutions and Avago Technologies each slumped more than 3.6 percent.


Adding to the bad news in the tech sector, Microsoft dropped the most since January following its largest-ever quarterly net loss, hurt by a $7.5 billion writedown after the purchase of Nokia’s handset unit failed to rescue the company’s mobile business.


Yahoo fell 1.2 percent, and earlier as much as 3.7 percent, after forecasting sales in the current quarter below analysts’ estimates, a sign Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer’s turnaround effort is still a work in progress.


Qualcomm declined 2.5 percent in late trading as of 4:45 p.m., after posting its worst quarterly sales decline since 2009. The company plans to reduce costs by a total of $1.4 billion, and forecast fiscal fourth-quarter sales and profit that may fall short of analysts’ estimates.


"It seems that the expectations are a little bit too high on the tech sector," said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank in Lucerne, Switzerland. "The last weeks have been pretty good for the markets and everyone was a little over excited so it seems we’re going to be a bit more cautious over the next couple of days."


Some 27 S&P 500 companies were posting results today. Of those in the index that have reported so far, about three quarters beat earnings estimates and 55 percent have topped sales estimates.


Beyond technology companies, there were some positive signs on earnings.


Whirlpool gained 7.3 percent, its biggest rise this year, as profit beat forecasts and the company said it continues to expect a strong second-half performance.


Intuitive Surgical jumped 8.9 percent, the most in a year, after the maker of robotic surgical devices raised its forecast for procedures performed in 2015, driven by growing demand for its da Vinci system.


Chipotle also rallied the most in a year, to its highest since Feb. 3. Second-quarter profits topped analysts’ forecasts, helped by higher prices on its food.


The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index fell 0.8 percent Wednesday to 12.12. The gauge, know as the VIX, tumbled 29 percent last week, the biggest such slide since January. About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 7 percent above the three-month average.


"It’s a question of where leadership will come from," said Yousef Abbasi, the global market strategist at JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC in New York. "Commodities are getting trounced again. That’s going to hurt energy, materials and industrials. Apple and Microsoft earnings didn’t look great, so you can rule tech out."


Five of the S&P 500’s 10 main groups declined, led by technology’s 1.6 percent slide, the most since the equity benchmark fell to a four-month low two weeks ago. Semiconductors decreased to a nine-month low. Linear Technology lost 6.3 percent, the most in more than six years, while Micron Technology and Qorvo slumped at least 4.2 percent.


Caterpillar sank 3 percent, the most since January, and Joy Global Inc. lost 2.3 percent to a six-year low as the mining-equipment makers paced declines among industrial companies. Miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc. dropped 4.2 percent, nearly erasing a 4.5 percent rebound Tuesday. The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell back to a 13-year low after rising slightly yesterday.


Diamond Offshore Drilling and Marathon Oil slumped more than 3.5 percent as oil prices fell for the fifth time in six sessions. Baker Hughes slid 3.9 percent, and earlier as much as 13 percent, after a person familiar with the matter said Halliburton’s takeover of the oilfield services company is facing antitrust hurdles. Halliburton fell 0.8 percent.


Investors are also watching economic reports for clues on when the Federal Reserve will move on interest rates. Data today showed sales of existing homes climbed 3.2 percent to an eight- year high in June as momentum in the residential real estate market accelerated. Prices rose to a record amid tight supply.


An S&P gauge of homebuilders posted its biggest advance in five months, with Ryland Group Inc. and Toll Brothers rising more than 2.5 percent. June new-home sales data are scheduled for release on Friday, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting a 0.4 percent increase from the previous month.


Banks in the S&P 500 rallied to their highest in seven years. Regions Financial added 2.8 percent to a 2.1 percent gain Tuesday, which followed quarterly results that were in line with estimates. KeyCorp, Bank of America and Comerica rose at least 1.7 percent. Citigroup climbed 2.1 percent to the highest since Jan. 2009.


—With assistance from Roxana Zega in Zurich.