NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes were mostly higher in midday trading Wednesday as investors weighed positive earnings in the technology sector against disappointing news out of aircraft giant Boeing and other companies. Biotechnology stocks were among the biggest gainers.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,092 as of 12:16 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,988 and the Nasdaq composite rose 20 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,477.
BIG TECH: Apple reported higher quarterly profits after the market closed Tuesday, topping analysts’ estimates. Sales of iPads slipped, but iPhone shipments increased 13 percent over the same period a year earlier. Apple rose $2.62, or 3 percent, to $97.33.
GAME OVER: Electronic Arts fell $2.02, or 5 percent, to $36.40. The video game publisher reported a 51 percent increase in earnings on Tuesday, but the company said it will have to delay the release of the latest iteration of its popular “Battlefield” title until 2015, missing the crucial holiday sales season.
NO LIFT: Boeing fell $3.23, or 2.5 percent, to $126.51, the biggest decline in the Dow, after the aircraft maker reported revenue that didn’t match analysts’ expectations.
TURNING INWARD: Investors are focusing their attention on U.S. corporations this week instead of the geopolitical turmoil in Israel and Ukraine. However, strategists say that with markets trading at near all-time highs, any bad news could be worrisome for U.S. stocks.
“Geopolitical flare-ups, European bank-related market jitters, today’s stretched valuations and relatively low market volatility leave (the market) vulnerable to bad news,” Blackrock’s Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich, wrote in a note to investors.
BIOTECH SOARS: Shares of Puma Biotechnology, a drug development company, soared after the company disclosed positive trial results for an experimental breast cancer drug. Puma rose $165.80, or 281 percent, to $224.63. Biogen Idec rose $31.15, or 10 percent, to $334.74 after the company’s quarterly results came in above investors’ expectations.
BONDS AND OIL: Prices for U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.46 percent from 2.47 percent late Tuesday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 82 cents to $103.21 a barrel.