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* Nike surges to record high after Q1 results beat
* Philip Morris jumps on calling off Altria merger
* Aug. new home sales rise more than expected
* Indexes: Dow up 0.03%, S&P off 0.20%, Nasdaq down 0.42% (Updates to open)
By Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick
Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes edged lower on Wednesday as a move to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump more than offset gains in shares of Nike and Philip Morris.
The news on probe, which pushed the S&P 500 to post its biggest percentage drop in a month on Tuesday, worsened an already fragile sentiment after Trump took a harsh tone about China’s trade practices, saying he would not accept a “bad deal”.
“At the end, we closed off the day’s lows, which tells me that there isn’t any panic in the market that would cause an accelerated decline,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
“Of course, the headline news regarding impeachment investigation will be focused on, but I don’t think that it’s going to have a real negative effect just yet.”
Nike Inc shares jumped 5.1% to a record high, and were among the top boosts to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 after the company’s first-quarter results beat market expectations. Footwear retailer Foot Locker Inc gained 2%.
Shares in Philip Morris surged 5.2% after the tobacco company called off merger talks with Altria Group Inc and said it would instead focus on the U.S. launch of its tobacco-heating product, iQOS.
At 9:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.87 points, or 0.03%, at 26,816.64, the S&P 500 was down 6.01 points, or 0.20%, at 2,960.59. The Nasdaq Composite was down 33.96 points, or 0.42%, at 7,959.67.
Boeing Co gained 0.9% after the aircraft maker’s board said it created a new permanent safety committee to oversee development, manufacturing and operation of its aircraft and services in the aftermath of two fatal 737 MAX crashes.
Marathon Petroleum Corp rose 5.1% and was among the top gainers on the S&P 500 after activist investor Elliott Management on Wednesday renewed its demand to split Marathon into three companies.
Chipmaker Broadcom Inc dropped 3.9% and was the biggest loser on the S&P 500 after it priced an upsized offering of convertible preferred stock.
Oil and gas explorers Marathon Oil Corp and Halliburton Co fell more than 1.5% each, tracking declines in oil prices on worries of weakening global demand.
Data showed that sales of new U.S. single-family homes rebounded more than expected in August, a sign that the struggling housing market was starting to get a lift from lower borrowing rates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.12-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 3 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 5 new highs and 42 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva)