* Obama requests Congress delay vote on Syria
* Apple falls after unveiling new iPhones
* Dow up 0.28 pct, S&P off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq off 0.47 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 11 U.S. stocks dipped on
Wednesday, as a drop in shares of Apple Inc. threatened to put
an end to a six-day run of gains for the S&P 500 and weighed
heavily on the Nasdaq.
Apple shares slumped 5.1 percent to $469.45, on
track for its steepest drop since April, and was the biggest
drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes. Credit
Suisse, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch each lowered their
rating on the stock to "neutral" after the company unveiled new
iPhone models Tuesday.
"Part of the problem is (analysts and consumers) keep
comparing everyone who speaks, every product that comes out to
what Steve Jobs would have done," said Ken Polcari, director of
the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
"Apple is a great company, they've done the right thing in
coming up with two price products to meet the marketplace - it's
Apple and everybody likes to take a shot at it."
Market nervousness over a possible Western military strike
against Syria abated after President Barack Obama pledged
Tuesday to explore a diplomatic plan by Russia to take away
Syria's chemical weapons, though the president voiced skepticism
Obama asked leaders in Congress to put off a vote on his
request to authorize the use of military force against Syria in
order to allow diplomacy to play out.
"That is going to cause a little bit of angst, it won't
cause the market to implode. The only reason that would happen
is if these diplomatic efforts fail once again and the prospect
of a real strike looms large again," Polcari said.
Market participants were also looking ahead to a two-day
policy meeting for the Federal Reserve on Sept. 17, during which
a decision is expected on trimming its massive bond-buying
program. That stimulus has been key in buoying the economy and
boosting the benchmark S&P 500 this year by nearly 18 percent.
The S&P 500 has gained 3.1 percent over the prior six
sessions, its longest winning streak in two months, as concerns
ebbed about a Western military strike against Syria and as data
showed improving growth in China, the world's second-biggest
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43.1 points, or
0.28 percent, to 15,234.16, the S&P 500 lost 3.29 points,
or 0.2 percent, to 1,680.7 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 17.468 points, or 0.47 percent, to 3,711.554.
Texas Instruments edged down 0.3 percent to $40.17
after the No. 3 U.S. chipmaker lowered its third-quarter
Economic data showed wholesale inventories for July edged up
0.1 percent, less than an expected rise of 0.3 percent, but
better than June's 0.2 percent decline.
Harvest Natural Resources Inc surged 24.1 percent to
$5.15 after the oil and gas producer said it was in exclusive
talks to sell itself to Argentina's Pluspetrol in a deal valued
at about $373 million including debt.