S&P 500 and Dow Were Weaker, NASDAQ Closed Positive

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 was flat on Wednesday (mid-afternoon) as investors waded through the latest round of earnings, while a drop in oil prices weighed on the energy sector. The Dow 30 index closed 120 points lower with IBM accounting for 57 of these points, while to the downside Goldman Sachs added 10 points.

Stocks score modest gains at the open, but with the Dow again lagging the other major indexes following back-to-back triple digit losses; Dow +0.2%, S&P +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.5%.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR dropped 8/32 in price to yield 2.21 percent. S&P slipped almost 0.2%, while energy stocks led the gainers.

The Russell 2000 is 21.89 points, or 1.6 percent.

Morgan Stanley jumped 2.7 percent after reporting higher earnings than analysts were expecting, thanks partly to strong trading results.

The oil losses hurt shares of US energy companies, pushing the S&P 500 energy index .SPNY down 1.4 percent and causing the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index to reverse earlier gains.

Energy sectors slipped 1.4% as USA oil settled at 3.76% weaker at $50.44 per barrel.

Fellow blue-chip companies ExxonMobil and Chevron dropped a respective 0.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent as a USA petroleum inventory report showing higher gasoline supplies pressured oil prices.

IBM slumped 4.9 per cent as it reported a 13 per cent drop in first-quarter profit to US$1.8 billion and suffered its 20th straight quarter of year-over-year revenue declines.

In the U.S. Treasury market, bond yields rose after a rally on Tuesday sent yields to five-month lows prompted by concerns about the French election and rising geopolitical tensions. Higher yields allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,349.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 118.79 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,404.49.

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