US stock indexes slip; Apple jumps on strong earnings


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were moving slightly lower in afternoon trading Wednesday as gains in technology stocks like Apple were offset by declines in consumer staples makers including Coca-Cola. Energy companies fell along with the price of crude oil. Investors are also working through the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement. The Fed didn’t make any changes to interest rates but left the door open for increases later this year.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 4 points, or 0.03 percent, to 18,465 as of 2:10 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.3 percent to 2,164 and the Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,127.

FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates unchanged while noting that “near-term risks” to the economy have “diminished.”

The Fed said that the U.S. job market has rebounded, with strong job gains in June following weak growth in May. But it says in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it still plans to monitor global economic threats and financial developments to ensure they don’t slow the economy.

Investors will get another policy decision by one of the world’s central banks on Friday, when the Bank of Japan is likely to vote to increase its economic stimulus efforts.

EARNINGS BEAT: Apple soared $6.72, or 7 percent, to $103.38. While the company reported lower revenue and iPhone sales, it still earned $10.5 billion last quarter, well above analysts’ estimates. Apple had been one of the biggest drags on the market this year as investors became concerned that its years of massive growth were coming to an end. Apple nearly erased its loss for the year.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.05, or roughly 2.5 percent, to $41.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, continuing its month-long decline. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell $1.34 to $43.56 a barrel in London. Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners as oil prices fell. Marathon Oil, Chesapeake Energy and Hess Corporation all fell 3.5 percent or more.

PLUCKED: Twitter plunged $2.52, or 14 percent, to $15.93. The social media company reported another loss and user adoption rates continue to slow. Roughly 313 million people regularly used Twitter last quarter, a fraction of the 1.6 billion people who use Facebook regularly.

FLAT: Coca-Cola fell $1.51, or 3.5 percent, to $43.37 after the beverage giant trimmed its sales outlook for the year, citing weak demand in China and other international markets. Coke has faced headwinds in the U.S. and internationally as more consumers move away from sugary drinks.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.53 percent from 1.56 percent. The dollar rose to 105.74 yen from 104.63 yen and the euro fell to $1.0981 from $1.0986.

METALS: The price of gold rose $5.90 to $1,326.70 an ounce, silver rose 31 cents to $20 an ounce and copper fell 4 cents to $2.19 a pound.

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