The S&P 500 and the Dow reversed course and edged higher on Wednesday after a sharp surge in oil prices helped counter losses from Apple and Boeing's weak forecasts.
Crude reclaimed earlier losses, with Brent soaring nearly 5 percent, after Russia said co-operation with major oil producers was discussed and U.S. data showed an increase in short-term demand.
Apple's shares were down 4.4 percent at $95.59, after the iPhone maker also reported its slowest-ever rise in shipments on Tuesday, while Boeing was down 6.6 percent at $119.50, on track for its biggest fall since August 2011.
The declines in both stocks capped gains on the indexes and kept the tech-heavy Nasdaq in the red.
"Stocks are now trading based on economic and profit activity and oil represents a very good barometer of economic activity," said James Abate, chief investment officer of Centre Funds.
At 12:33 p.m. ET (1733 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 33.83 points, or 0.21 percent, at 16,201.06, the S&P 500 was up 8.01 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,911.64 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 14.10 points, or 0.31 percent, at 4,553.57.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors turned positive, led by the 1.43 percent rise in the energy stocks. Only the tech sector remained in the red.
"When you particularly see big group of companies like Apple and Boeing, and their disappointing guidance, it has a profound impact on the market as a whole," Abate said.
While an interest-rate hike is not expected in Wednesday's statement, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, investors will be keen to see the Fed's reaction to the turmoil in global markets.
Textron slid 8.4 percent to $34.56, while Tupperware sank 15.2 percent to $43.70 after both companies posted revenue that missed estimates.
VMware was down 8.4 percent at $45.15 after its 2016 forecast was weaker than expected.
Among the few gainers, Biogen was up 8.4 percent at $281.71 after its profit and revenue beat expectations.
Tech majors Facebook, Qualcomm and eBay are slated to report after the close.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,914 to 1,051. On the Nasdaq, 1,332 issues rose and 1,270 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week high and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded seven new highs and 51 lows.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Published Date: Jan 28, 2016 00:00 AM | Updated Date: Jan 28, 2016 00:00 AM