* S&P companies Q1 profit growth estimates has been rising
* ADP drops after disappointing earning reports
* Yum, Delphi higher after reporting results
* Indexes down: Dow 0.17 pct, S&P 0.25 pct, Nasdaq 0.44 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower in late morning trading on Wednesday as index-heavyweight Apple’s disappointing report put a dampener on what has been a largely upbeat earnings season, with major stock indexes hovering near record highs.
Shares of Apple dropped 1.4 percent to $145.42 after the company reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales and forecast current-quarter revenue below estimates.
Apple was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes. The S&P technology sector fell 0.44 percent, making it the biggest drag on the benchmark index among the 11 major S&P sectors.
Strong corporate reports so far had resulted in estimates for first-quarter profit growth at S&P 500 companies increasing to 14.2 percent as of Wednesday, from an estimate of 10.4 percent growth two weeks back, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“We’re about 70 percent through the earnings season and despite some isolated incidents, overall the season has been great,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
“And that’s one of the reasons why the indexes are hovering near record levels.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P and the Nasdaq are less than one percent away from their record highs.
“The SPX has spent several days in a consolidation phase, but has yet to see relief from short-term overbought conditions,” said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG in a note.
“This could mean that a shallow pullback is needed to refresh the uptrend and allow for a breakout to new highs.”
At 10:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT) the Dow was down 35.58 points, or 0.17 percent, at 20,914.31. The S&P 500 was down 6.09 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,385.08 and the Nasdaq was down 26.78 points, or 0.44 percent, at 6,068.58.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the materials index’s 0.67 percent fall leading the decliners.
Automatic Data Processing fell 7.5 percent after its revenue missed expectations.
Yum Brands rose 3.5 percent to $68.66, while Delphi Automotive rose 8.2 percent to $84.89 after reporting results.
Anadarko Petroleum fell 8.3 percent to $51.53, after one of its wells was linked to a fatal explosion at a Colorado home.
Investors also await the Federal Reserve’s statement on monetary policy at 2 p.m. ET. While the central bank is expected to hold interest rates steady, it may hint it is on track for an increase in June.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,825 to 874. On the Nasdaq, 1,791 issues fell and 778 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 47 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)