Stocks on Wall Street Off to Lower Start

Updated from 9:23 a.m. EDT

Stocks in New York opened with losses Wednesday, as corporate earnings again took center stage and concerns of a global slowdown increased.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 203 points to 8831, and the S&P 500 was down 21 points to 934. The Nasdaq dropped 28 points to 1669.

On Tuesday, stocks sold off sharply into the close as traders took profits from Monday's rally and sorted through gloomy earnings statements from a wide variety of firms.

Following Tuesday's close, traders heard from some big technology names. Apple ( AAPL) reported a 26% increase in third-quarter earnings. Strong iPhone sales contributed to the improvement, but the company worked to temper expectations for the fourth quarter on a slowing economy.

Internet portal Yahoo! ( YHOO) also announced third-quarter earnings, saying profit declined 64%. The company also said it would cut at least 1,500 jobs this year.

Ahead of the new day's trading, investors were be shoveling through a fresh pile of earnings statements. Telecommunications service provider AT&T ( T) announced that profit grew 5.5% year over year but fell short of analysts' expectations.

On the industrial side, aircraft maker Boeing ( BA) saw income shrink 38% year over year, while rival Northrop Grumman ( NOC) reported increasing net income and raised guidance.

In the energy patch, oil-services company Baker Hughes ( BHI)said its profit increased 10% year over year, while integrated oil firm ConocoPhillips ( COP) delivered an earnings beat on increasing revenue.

As for financial results, regional bank Wachovia ( WB) swung to a $24 billion loss for the third quarter .

Fast-food provider McDonald's ( MCD), meanwhile, reported results that beat the Street's estimates.

Cigarette maker Philip Morris International ( PM) reported rising profit on increasing revenue and organic growth.

On a day that is rather light on economic data, the Energy Information Administration is set to release its crude-oil inventory figures for the week ended Oct. 18.

In commodities, crude oil was losing $3.13 to $69.05 a barrel. Gold was giving back $16.90 to $751.10 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year note was up 20/32, yielding 3.66%. The 30-year was gaining 1-14/32 to yield 4.13%. The dollar was logging massive gains vs. the euro and pound but weaker against the yen.

Overseas, European indices, including the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt, were mainly trading lower. Asian markets also finished lower.

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