Techs, Materials Pull Stocks Lower

Techs, Materials Pull Stocks Lower

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are down Wednesday morning as losses for Apple and other technology companies pull major indexes lower. Materials and health care companies are also slumping. The Federal Reserve is having a policy meeting, although investors don't expect it to raise interest rates.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,383 as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,907. The Nasdaq composite sank 35 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,060. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller companies, declined 9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,390.

APPLE ON HOLD: Apple dipped after its first-quarter iPhone sales and projections for the current quarter weren't quite as good as analysts hoped. Apple stagnated in late 2015 and for much of 2016 as iPhone sales slowed down and then fell for the first time. Apple's stock and it sales have rallied in recent months. Apple is up 25 percent this year and recently set all-time highs. The rally was interrupted Wednesday as the stock slipped $2.17, or 1.5 percent, to $145.34.

Other technology companies that traded lower after releasing earnings included cloud services provider Akamai Technologies and Automatic Data Processing. Akamai gave up $9.24, or 14.8 percent, to $53.26 and payroll and human resources company ADP lost $5.80, or 5.6 percent, to $98.21 after it said it didn't book as much new business.

CRAFTING NEW LEADERSHIP: Online crafts marketplace Etsy replaced its CEO and said it will cut jobs as it faces pressure from shareholders upset with its lackluster profits and anemic stock performance. Chad Dickerson stepped down as CEO and chairman as the company named board member Josh Silverman as its new CEO. Etsy will also cut around 80 jobs, or 8 percent of its staff, to reduce costs. The stock gave up $1.34, or 11.7 percent, to $10.06.

DELPHI HIGH: Vehicle parts maker Delphi Automotive surged after it said it will spin off its powertrain systems business into a separate publicly traded company. It expects to finish that move by next March. Investors often applaud such transactions, which are tax-free, because they can help fast-growing businesses concentrate on their own growth. Delphi stock added $7.57, or 9.6 percent, to $86.02.

FED WATCH: Investors don't expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month, but they will watch its statements closely for hints of when the next increase might come. Experts think it's likely the central bank will raise rates in June, as it did last December and again in March.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude gained 20 cents to $47.86 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 30 cents to $50.76 a barrel in London. On Tuesday U.S. crude oil closed at its lowest price since mid-November.

Energy companies mostly traded higher, but Anadarko Petroleum sank $4.60, or 8.2 percent, to $51.68 following its report. Noble Energy said it will sell assets in northern West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania for $1.23 billion, but its stock shed $1.28, or 4.1 percent, to $30.14.

INSURANCE DEAL: Insurer OneBeacon agreed to be bought by Canada's Intact Financial Corp. for $18.10 a share, or $1.7 billion. Its stock jumped $2.52, or 16.1 percent, to $18.22.

BONDS: Bond prices held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 2.29 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.42 yen from 112 yen. The euro slid to $1.0911 from $1.0928.

OVERSEAS: The British FTSE 100 retreated 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent. The DAX of Germany was unchanged. Markets in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for a holiday.

(KA)