IBM will have an out-sized influence on the Dow Industrials Wednesday, much like Goldman Sachs did on Tuesday, as the technology bellwether's shares dive on disappointing first-quarter results. Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) sank 3.72% to $15.16 and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) gave up 1.15% to $61.98.
Analysts also cited lingering worries about geopolitical issues, including Sunday's first round of the French presidential election which has implications for the future of the eurozone.
At 11:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 23.46 points, or 0.11 percent, at 20,499.82, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 6.27 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,348.46 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 35.50 points, or 0.61 percent, at 5,884.97.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 highs and 22 lows.
Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as sliding oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while solid earnings boosted Rogers Communications Inc.
The advance in financials was underpinned by a 2.6 per cent jump in shares of Morgan Stanley, which reported a surge in quarterly profit.
Intuitive Surgical ISRG.O was up 7.3 percent at $814.49 after the company reported higher-than-expected first-quarter revenue and profit.
Rising bond yields were also helping banks. Genuine Parts, along with vehicle makers, used vehicle sellers, and retailers of auto parts and tires plunged earlier this month after automakers reported disappointing March sales.
Prices per barrel of the black stuff were on course for the biggest daily percentage drop since early March. The company said shipments of its da Vinci device and surgeries performed with it both jumped.
Stocks getting hit today include Sirius XM (SIRI) following a downgrade by Morgan Stanley to underweight, claiming its recent run-up wasn't fundamentally justified; shares of dry bulk shipper Diana Shipping (DSX) sinking on a secondary offering of $70 million worth of shares; and Textron (TRT), the maker of Bell Helicopters, shares slipping as revenue missed the mark and it cut its full-year forecast. Its fourth-quarter forecast was much better than expected, and the stock gained $8.13, or 6.4 percent, to $135.56. Shipping company FedEx rose $2.05, or 1.1 percent, to $185.56 while rival UPS rose 84 cents to $104.94. On the Nasdaq, 1,838 issues rose and 766 fell. FirstEnergy shed 62 cents, or 2 percent, to $30.85 and beauty products retailer Coty surrendered 42 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $17.99.
OIL: U.S. crude oil futures added 10 cents to $52.51 per barrel in NY. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell $1.96, or 3.6 percent, to $52.93 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.05 yen from 108.42 yen.
British stocks continued to fall.
The UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.5 percent. Other major European indexes recovered modestly. Germany's DAX Index rose 0.1 percent, while France's CAC40 Index gained 0.3 percent. In Japan the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 percent and the South Korean Kospi shed 0.5 percent.