Stocks open mixed; Apple sinks after iPhone news

FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2013, file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Global stocks were mixed Wednesday Sept. 11, 2013 amid optimism about a possible Chinese recovery and concern over a possible U.S. attack on Syria. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Stocks were trading mixed on Wall Street Wednesday, threatening to end the market's longest winning streak since July, as investors waited to see if the confrontation with Syria can be resolved peacefully.

A big decline in Apple stock dragged down the Standard & Poor's 500 index, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose.

The flattish trading followed two days of strong and widespread gains. After a tough August, stocks have risen in recent days, including six days in a row of gains for the S&P 500.

Now, though, "There are people that are cautiously waiting to see if any kind of geopolitical scenario develops, negative or positive," said Stephen Carl, head of equity trading at The Williams Capital Group.

The S&P 500 index was down three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,681 in late morning trading. The Nasdaq composite fell 18 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,711.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,238.

Apple fell $28.85, almost 6 percent, to $465.70 a day after the company announced two new iPhones. Apple stock fell on Tuesday, too, after rising 11 percent in the month leading up to the announcement. Some analysts felt that Apple's lowest-priced iPhone — $549 without a two-year cell phone contract — isn't cheap enough to win many buyers in emerging markets.

Among the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500, six fell. Tech stocks had the biggest declines.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange observed a moment of silence shortly before trading began on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Companies making big moves included:

— Restoration Hardware, down $5.27, or 6.9 percent, to $70.79 after reporting second-quarter sales that were not as strong as the first quarter.

— Disney rose 81 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $63.64 after the company said it would delay its fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie from a planned 2015 opening. Studios struggled with big-budget flops this summer, including Disney's "The Lone Ranger," and investors may be glad that it will take its time with the "Pirates" sequel.

— IBM rose $3.64, or 2 percent, to $190.20 after it said it would sell a customer care outsourcing business to Synnex for $505 million in cash and stock. Synnex rose $9.73, or 20 percent, to $57.70.

Overseas markets were mixed. France's CAC-40 and Britain's FTSE edged lower, and Germany's DAX edged higher. The Nikkei in Japan was flat.

Oil prices rose 27 cents to $107.67 after two days of declines. Gold fell $3.30 to $1,361.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent from 2.97 percent a day earlier.