Wall St. lower as Apple, Disney weigh


(Reuters) – U.S. stocks slipped in early afternoon trading on Thursday, dragged down by big names such as Apple, Walt Disney and Comcast.

Apple (AAPL.O) fell 0.65 percent on a report that the new iPhone had faced production glitches that could result in supply shortfalls.

Comcast’s (CMCSA.O) 7 percent fall weighed the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, after the company said it expected to lose 100,000 to 150,000 video subscribers in the quarter due to competition.

The Dow was pulled lower by a 3.36 percent fall in Walt Disney (DIS.N) shares, after its chief executive warned earnings per share growth for this year would roughly be in line with what it reported last year.

Disney’s fall weighed on other media stocks, with CBS (CBS.N) down 3 percent and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) off 3.9 percent. At 12:34 p.m. ET (1634 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 55.96 points, or 0.26 percent, at 21,751.68 and the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.66 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,460.88.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 6.66 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,386.66.

Investors also kept a watch on Hurricane Irma as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century took aim at Florida.

Irma comes close on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas and Louisiana more than a week ago, claiming 60 lives and causing property damage estimated as high as $180 billion.

“As the hurricane moves, investors are looking for a better grip on the damage. There are far-reaching implications now that we have back-to-back ones,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director of Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Worries about the impact of hurricanes and weak U.S. jobless claims data sent the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR to their lowest since Nov. 10. [US/]

The fall in yields pressured financial stocks, with Goldman Sachs (GS.N) dipping 1.6 percent and Bank of America (BAC.N) sliding 2.3 percent Initial claims for state unemployment benefits soared by 62,000 to 298,000 for the week ended Sept. 2, a Labor Department report showed. Economists had expected a rise to 241,000, according to a Reuters poll.

General Electric (GE.N) fell 2.35 percent after a JPMorgan analyst downgraded the stock to “underweight”.

Key Federal Reserve policymakers scheduled to speak on Thursday include Cleveland Fed head Loretta Mester, New York Fed chief William Dudley and their Kansas City counterpart Esther George.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,445 to 1,353. On the Nasdaq, 1,502 issues fell and 1,337 advanced.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva