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RPT-US STOCKS-S&P on track for 4th decline; tech sector weighs
July 10, 2012 / 5:26 PM / in 5 years

RPT-US STOCKS-S&P on track for 4th decline; tech sector weighs

* RIM’s board re-elected at annual meeting; stock falls

* Applied Materials adjusts outlook; shares slide

* Spanish, Italian bond yields drop; focus on German court

* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.4 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks mostly fell on Tuesday as several profit warnings from t he U.S. technology sector raised concerns about a slowdown in the economy.

Trade was choppy as it has been recently in some of the lightest volume sessions this year, as the S&P 500 followed up its best three-day run since December with three straight declines after the holiday break in the middle of last week for Independence Day. The S&P 500 is on track for its fourth daily loss in a row.

“The market is slowly adopting to the reality that we are going into a global recession. Today is the perfect example of that. Materials, energy and technology sectors are all down while defensive sectors are up,” said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“The weak earnings,” he added, and the “pre-announcements are really starting to hit the market.”

U.S.-listed shares of Research In Motion Ltd fell 5.2 percent to $7.28. The BlackBerry maker’s shareholders elected the company’s slate of directors at its annual meeting - the first presided over by new CEO Thorsten Heins, who faces an uphill battle to get the embattled company back on track.

Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 10.5 percent to $5.03 after the chipmaker slashed its outlook for second-quarter revenue following disappointing sales in China and Europe.

Applied Materials Inc lost 1.3 percent to $10.87 after the chip-gear maker said it expects to miss its full-year estimates and its third-quarter results will be at the low end of its previous outlook. The PHLX semiconductor index fell 1.6 percent.

Bank stocks, highly sensitive to developments in the euro zone, erased their earlier gains to trade nearly flat. JPMorgan Chase & Co shares rose just 0.2 percent to $34.03 after rising as high as $34.45 earlier. But the KBW Bank index dipped 0.1 percent after rising more than 1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.94 points, or 0.09 percent, to 12,747.23. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 2.38 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1,350.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 11.35 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,920.42.

Alcoa Inc, a Dow component, kicked off the quarterly earnings season late Monday with revenue and profit that beat Wall Street’s expectations even though prices for its aluminum are at nearly two-year lows. Alcoa also forecast growing demand in the aerospace and auto sectors. But the aluminum giant’s shares lost 3.5 percent to $8.45.

In Europe, investors were in hopes that the German Constitutional Court will quickly approve Europe’s new bailout plan and budget rules after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned the court that any significant delay could rattle markets.

Spanish bond yields fell below the 7 percent level, which has forced other countries to seek a bailout, on hopes the plan will be approved. Italian bond yields slipped below 6 percent.

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