NEW YORK : Wall Street stocks took a breather this week, finishing down from record levels despite solid US economic data and a successful products launch by Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 149.85 points (0.87 percent) to close the week at 16,987.51, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 22.17 (1.10 percent) to 1,985.54.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, bolstered by a 2.8 percent gain in Apple, declined a relatively modest 15.30 (0.33 percent) to 4,567.60. The week was relatively light on major US economic data. The most prominent report showed that US retail sales grew 0.6 percent in August, picking up from growth of 0.3 percent in July.

“There’s a sense the economy is picking up a bit of momentum,” said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets.Investors were also cheered by a jam-packed product launch by Apple that included new models of the iPhones, a smartwatch and a new mobile payments system.  Apple shares traded in a volatile fashion during the presentation Tuesday, but finished solidly higher the next day. Once the dust settled, the launch drew raves from many observers.

“Innovation is back at Apple after a three-year pause,” enthused Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research. - Stocks buffeted by headwinds - As the biggest US company by market capitalization, Apple gave a lift to the overall market.

Still, stocks as a whole struggled through much of the week, hit by a number of headwinds.

Chief among them was concern over the September 18 Scotland independence referendum vote, which introduced difficult questions about how a move by Scotland off of the British pound would be achieved if the referendum is approved. Polls at week’s end suggested a razor-tight outcome.

Analysts also cited another round of increasingly punitive sanctions by the United States and the European Union against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine and uncertainty over the implications of President Barack Obama’s plans for air strikes in Syria and Iraq targeting Islamic State radicals.

Finally, investors were unsettled by the prospect of higher US interest rates, a possibility that the market appeared to see as more likely at week’s end. US treasury yields rose sharply Friday following solid economic data.

The Fed has consistently said it would keep interest rates low for a “considerable time” after ending stimulus, based on continued weakness in the labor market. The Fed could reaffirm that view due to the most recent jobs report, which showed the US added just 142,000 jobs in August.

But some observers see a chance the Fed will tweak that policy, either in its official statement or at the press conference led by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

“This week, the markets have been in a holding pattern waiting for guidance from the Fed,” said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

“The question is whether the market will come through with what the market expects.”

Besides the two-day Fed monetary policy meeting ending Wednesday, investors will take in a steady stream of US economic data, including industrial production, housing starts and the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators, all for August.

Analysts are also looking ahead to a possible initial public offering from Chinese online giant Alibaba, which could come as soon as next week. The offering is expected to raise between $19 billion and $24 billion.

Analysts say the IPO could break the all-time record of $22.1 billion by the Agricultural Bank of China in 2010, which took place in Hong Kong and Shanghai