Markets Right Now: An early gain gone, stocks end lower

The steep drop by IBM comes after the company reported first quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues.

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 Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,339 as of 3:15 p.m.

Utilities .SPLRCU , real estate .SPLRCR and consumer staples .SPLRCS , which have risen in the past few days, were down.

Notable strength has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1% gain being posted by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed about 110 points lower, with Goldman Sachs shaving off 73 points after the bank reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter results. IBM stock fell $7.69, or 4.5 percent, to $162.36.

The oil losses hurt shares of US energy companies, pushing the S&P 500 energy index .SPNY down 1.4 percent and causing the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index to reverse earlier gains.

Bond prices fell, reversing most of their gains from a day earlier.

Facebook FB.O was up 1.3 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq. Elsewhere, Charles Schwab rose 71 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $38.62 and Prudential climbed $1.42, or 1.4 percent, to $104.99.

Shares of Bank of America BAC.N , JPMorgan JPM.N and Wells Fargo WFC.N edged up slightly.

USA stocks are rebounding Wednesday as strong results from Morgan Stanley and rising bond yields send banks and other financial companies higher. That helped send technology companies higher.

CHOPPY CHOPPER SALES: Textron, which makes Cessna small planes and Bell helicopters, also disclosed lower-than-expected sales.

Energy companies skidded. Chevron $1.71, or 1.6 percent, to $103.97 and Marathon Oil sank 65 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $15.09.

OIL: Oil prices dropped after the Energy Information Administration said USA crude inventories didn't shrink as much as investors hoped they would, and the EIA says the stockpiles are larger than normal for this time of year. 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.

The dollar recovered from recent weakness against the euro EUR= and the safe-haven yen JPY= , while sterling was off six-month highs hit after Britain's prime minister on Tuesday called for a snap election. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell $1.96, or 3.6 percent, to $52.93 per barrel in London. Coupled with an underwhelming Beige Book that highlighted the persistent lack of inflationary pressures, and technical resistance in the S&P 500 at 2,355, the averages continued to lose ground throughout the afternoon, leaving the blue-chip index and S&P in the red for a second day.

British stocks are vulnerable to a rising pound because more than two-thirds of FTSE 100 company earnings are derived from operations overseas. In France the CAC-40 gained 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX edged up 0.1 percent.

Hang Seng Index was down 0.41%. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and inched up by 0.1%.