* Boeing rallies after results
* Durable goods data shows biggest drop in seven months
* Apple slips after results
* Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq flat
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) - The Dow dipped while the S&P
500 edged up on Wednesday as a sharp drop in durable goods
orders last month added to worries about slower U.S. economic
activity and Apple's results disappointed investors.
Shares of Amgen dropped 6 percent to $106.03,
weighing on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 a day after the drug
company reported first-quarter sales below analysts'
expectations. The S&P 500 healthcare sector index fell
1.2 percent and was the worst performer among the S&P's 10
Helping to limit losses, Boeing jumped 3.4 percent to
$91.13 and gave the biggest support to the Dow after the
aerospace company reported earnings that beat expectations.
Boeing shares rallied despite concerns about the company's 787
The market's mixed day followed gains so far this week. The
S&P 500 is still up 10.8 percent for the year despite a fairly
weak month so far.
Adding to market weakness, March U.S. durable goods orders
slid 5.7 percent in March, the government said, marking the
biggest decline in seven months. The March drop was slightly
more than twice the 2.8 percent decline forecast by economists
polled by Reuters.
"That doesn't surprise me a whole lot. People are maybe
starting to feel the pinch of the payroll tax that took effect
in January," said Bryant Evans, portfolio manager at Cozad Asset
Management, in Champaign, Illinois.
Evans said it's more evidence of slow economic growth in the
United States, which may likely continue the rest of the year.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21.33
points, or 0.14 percent, at 14,698.13. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 1.60 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,580.38.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.25 of a point, or
0.01 percent, at 3,269.58.
Procter & Gamble Co, another Dow component, fell 4.8
percent to $78 after the biggest U.S. household goods
manufacturer issued a profit outlook that was below
expectations. It was the stock's biggest drop since January
2009, and contributed to a 1.1 percent drop in the S&P consumer
Defensive shares, however, have led the S&P 500 index's
gains so far this year, which has underscored views that
economic activity remains painfully slow.