Apple dropped more than 1% after the company disclosed the European Commission could require Ireland to recover past taxes over the past decade. The world's largest company said such tax payments could be "material."
In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported a key component of the Apple Watch made by one of two suppliers was found to be defective, limiting the availability of the new product.
The S&P 500 fell 0.33%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.26%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.58%.
Salesforce.com (CRM) backed off of a 11.6% surge Wednesday afternoon after Bloomberg reported the company is working with financial advisers to field takeover offers. Shares fell 3.3%.
Real personal income dipped 0.2% in March compared to an expected increase of 0.2%. Personal income increased 0.3% in February. Initial jobless claims for the week ended April 24 dropped 34,000 to 262,000. Economists had expected a reading of 288,000 after 296,000 a week earlier.
Japan's Nikkei closed nearly 3% lower after the Bank of Japan left interest rates unchanged, as economists had expected. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.78% after steel demand fell 6% in the first quarter, the first decline for that quarter in the past 20 years.
European markets were all lower despite eurozone deflation pausing in April. The region's Consumer Price Index was flat in April, its first neutral reading after months of negative data. German unemployment fell in April, though at a slower-than-expected pace.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) was slightly lower after reporting a 56% decline in first-quarter earnings. The oil giant has suffered from plummeting commodity markets since prices began their descent last summer.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) was flat after missing quarterly estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The cable giant earned $1.65 a share, lower than an estimated $1.88. Sales climbed 3.5% to $5.78 billion, below expectations for $5.83 billion.
Yelp (YELP) shares plummeted 21% after issuing weak guidance in its second quarter and full year. Second-quarter revenue is expected between $131 million to $134 million, below estimates of $138.4 million.
Sony (SNE) shares slid 1.2% after reporting a net loss of 126 billion yen over fiscal 2015, its sixth loss in seven years as it faces troubles in its smartphone business and the fallout from hacking attacks.