GLOBAL MARKETS-Apple weighs on stocks, while oil prices steady
(Updates prices, changes comment, byline, dateline) * Brent oil stabilizes above $50 a barrel after 5 pct drop * U.S. dollar hits 3-1/2 month high against Swiss franc * Stocks little changed globally; China up, Europe off By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Apple weighed heavily on all major U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday as it fell for the fifth straight day, while oil steadied a day after a broad measure of commodity prices hit a 12-year low. Apple stock, down 3.1 percent on Tuesday, is off near 15 percent from its record high set in late April. Stocks and the dollar were little changed. U.S. crude rose and copper edged up but the outlook for commodities continued to be clouded by concerns over a slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy. The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index rose 1 percent after hitting a more than 12 year low on Monday. Materials stocks helped buoy the S&P 500, which was trading near its average of the past 100 days. Wall Street was flat despite data showing new orders for factory goods rebounded strongly in June on robust demand for transportation equipment. At 12:16 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.62 points, or 0.05 percent, to 17,588.58, the S&P 500 gained 0.31 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,098.35 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.49 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,112.89. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.3 percent and a broad measure of stocks in major markets globally was flat. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 3.7 percent in its biggest daily gain since July 10. Fears of disinflation stemming from the rout in oil prices has led investors to pare bets the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates as early as September. Friday's employment data are key. They are now expected to show the U.S. economy created 223,000 new jobs in July, on par with job creation in June, according to economists polled by Reuters. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 5.3 percent. U.S. Treasuries prices slipped as calmer markets reduced safe-haven bids, while uncertainty ahead of Friday's jobs report limited trading activity. "The jobs report - this one and the next one - will be looked over very closely," said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago. Current trading may be "the quiet before the storm," he said. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were last down 8/32 in price to yield 2.178 percent, from a yield of 2.152 percent late Monday. U.S. 30-year bonds were last down 7/32 in price to yield 2.872 percent, from a yield of 2.861 percent late Monday. The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies while currencies tied to commodities rebounded as oil and materials stabilized. The dollar hit a 3-1/2 month high against the Swiss franc, with traders citing the unwinding of safe haven bids related to the Greek crisis. The euro edged up less than 0.1 percent versus the greenback at $1.0959. The Canadian and Australian dollars , both linked to raw materials, got lifts after recently hitting multi-year lows. "It's been a quiet day with most major currencies against the dollar," said Brian Dangerfield, currency strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. "The focus is on commodities and commodities exporters' currencies," he added. In commodities markets, Brent added 1 percent to $49.99 a barrel and U.S. crude gained 2 percent to $46.09 a barrel. (Additional reporting by Richard Leong and Sam Forgione; Editing by Chris Reese)
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