U.S. Stocks Fall as World Bank Cuts Global Outlook

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks on Wall Street were falling Wednesday after the World Bank slashed its global economic outlook.

The World Bank said the global economy got off to a bumpy start this year as a result of poor weather in the U.S., financial market turbulence, and the conflict in the Ukraine. As such, it has cut its 2014 world growth projections to 2.8% from 3.2%.

The S&P 500 was down 0.28% to 1,945.38, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.51% to 16,959.59. The Nasdaq was off by 0.03% to 4,336.49.

Offsetting economic catalysts weren't expected Wednesday given a light economic calendar. Incoming data includes the U.S. Treasury budget at 2 p.m. EDT.

European stocks fell on Wednesday amid a raft of earnings downgrades, and after the World Bank cuts its global growth forecast. Asian stocks were mixed.

Individual stocks to watch Wednesday include Bank of America (BAC), Amazon.com (AMZN), American International Group (AIG), Google (GOOG), Boeing (BA), Apple (AAPL) and Starbucks (SBUX).

Both Apple and Starbucks shares were weaker as European officials probe their tax activities in Ireland and the Netherlands. The European Commission said it's investigating whether decisions made by tax authorities regarding corporate income tax to be paid by Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands, as well as Fiat Finance and Trade in Luxembourg comply with the EU rules on state aid. Apple was little changed at $94.30 a share, while shares of Starbucks were effectively flat at $74.55.

Shares of Bank of America were down 1,5% as The New York Times reported that Bank of America and the Justice Department have reached an impasse in negotiations over a multibillion-dollar settlement deal.

Amazon.com has refused to take pre-orders for upcoming Time Warner home video movie titles, including "The Lego Movie," the Times reported; shares were up over 1.5%.

Google agreed to buy Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, subject to adjustments, as the Web search and mobile software giant tries to bolster its imaging capabilities; shares were behind by 0.56%.

American International Group tapped long-time JPMorgan executive Peter Hancock as its new CEO, choosing a man with scant background in insurance but deep experience in the type of complex financial instruments that forced the giant insurer to take a $182 billion bailout.

Also, Emirates Airlines has canceled its order for 70 Airbus A350 aircraft. The A350 is intended as Airbus' best hope for catching up in the long-haul market that is dominated by Boeing's BA 777 and 787 but has been plagued by years of delays and a multibillion dollar revamp.

U.S. markets closed mixed Tuesday, with no impetus to make big moves. The S&P 500 recovered to close 0.02% lower.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

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