Stocks Skid Early Thursday

NEW YORK (AP) --- U.S. stocks are lower Thursday as investors again worry about the potential effects of the U.S.-China trade dispute. German automaker Daimler lowered its annual profit forecast, partly because of higher import taxes on U.S. vehicles in China. Industrial companies are taking more losses. Energy companies are falling along with oil prices. Chipmaker Intel is slipping after the company said its CEO resigned when Intel discovered he had a relationship with an employee that it described as consensual. Supermarket chain Kroger and restaurant operator Darden are both jumping after strong quarterly reports.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slid 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,760 as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average was on track for its eighth loss in a row as it fell 130 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,527. The index is down about 3 percent over that time. The Nasdaq composite lost 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,766. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 8 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,698. The Nasdaq and Russell 200 both closed at record highs Wednesday.

TRADE TALK: Daimler is projecting fewer SUV sales and higher costs for Mercedes-Benz cars as a result of the tariffs. The company makes cars in the U.S. and its stock fell 4.1 percent in Germany.

Industrial companies fell. Boeing lost 1.5 percent to $337.41 and Caterpillar lost 2 percent to $140.31. Along with the Dow's losing streak, the industrial index of the S&P 500 is down 5.2 percent over the last month, worse than any other part of the index except for energy companies. The S&P 500 is up 0.8 percent over that time.

Investors feel industrial companies are uniquely vulnerable in the U.S.' ongoing trade dispute with several other countries, as they will have to pay more for the steel and aluminum they use, while other countries might put tariffs on their finished products, which could hurt sales.

ENERGY: U.S. crude lost 0.5 percent to $65.35 a barrel in New York as investors expect OPEC to agree to a production increase at a meeting on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard for oil prices, lost 1.7 percent to $73.46 a barrel in London.

Chevron fell 1.4 percent to $123.51 and Marathon Oil dropped 4.3 percent to $20.16.

EARNINGS: Kroger climbed 9.6 percent to $28.67 after it posted strong results in the first quarter and made a small increase to its annual profit forecast. Darden Restaurants, the parent of the Olive Garden chain, jumped 11.8 percent to $104.25 after it surpassed Wall Street expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter. Medical supplies company Patterson also rallied after its report. It rose 10.5 percent to $24.90.

INTEL CEO OUT: The world's largest chipmaker said CEO Brian Krzanich is resigning after the company learned he had a consensual relationship with an employee. Intel said the relationship violated the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. The company is searching for a new CEO, and Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan will be its interim CEO immediately.

Intel fell 1.3 percent to $52.79.

BONDS: Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.90 percent from 2.94 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar fell to 110.09 yen from 110.40 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1577 from $1.1587.

OVERSEAS: The German DAX dropped 0.9 percent after Daimler's warning. France's CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 0.6 percent after its central bank indicated it could raise rates this summer.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.6 percent and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.4 percent.

(BE)