Stocks dip as investors weigh earnings, housing

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks stumbled in early trading Wednesday as investors weighed mixed corporate earnings against a surprise jump in new home construction last month.

Apple Inc. slumped 5 percent after the company’s income and revenue fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. It was a rare miss for the company, which had jumped 31 percent this year through Tuesday. Apple blamed the shortfall on a later-than-usual release of its newest iPhone.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 25 points a half-hour after the opening bell. Other indexes also had small losses.

The disappointing results from Apple were tempered by a rebound in the housing market in September. Builders began new homes at the fastest pace in 17 months. Most of the gains came from the construction of new apartments. The pace is still about half what economists say consistent with a healthy housing market.

The Dow fell 0.2 percent, to 11,548 at 10 a.m. Eastern. The S&P 500 was down 3, or 0.3 percent, to 1,222. The Nasdaq composite slid 19, or 0.7 percent, to 2,638.

Abbott Laboratories jumped 4.5 percent after announcing plans to spin off its drug business.

AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, dove 7.6 percent after reporting a loss that was worse than Wall Street analysts predicted. The company said that its fuel spending jumped 40 percent, wiping out revenue gains from higher fares and fees.

Morgan Stanley rose 3 percent after a jump in investment banking revenue helped it earn $1.15 a share, well above analyst expectations of 30 cents per share. Intel Corp. jumped 4.5 percent after its net income rose 17 percent last quarter, beating Wall Street’s target.

At 2 p.m. the Federal Reserve will release its survey of business conditions around the nation.