Stocks fall hard amid rising interest rates and earnings fears

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Heating oil dipped 0.6 percent to $2.13 a gallon.

The S&P is down 30.74 points, or 1.2 percent.

Comcast rose 2.7 percent after the largest US cable company confirmed its $31 billion bid for Sky on the heels of its better-than-expected earnings report.

The Dow opened slightly higher on Wednesday, boosted by Boeing's 3.4 per cent jump after strong results, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were little changed as USA bond yields climbed above the 3 per cent level. Its stock gained 4.2 percent to $342.86 and railroad operator Norfolk Southern climbed 8.1 percent to $145.96 after it, too, surpassed analyst projections.

However, as more companies report earnings over the next few weeks, things could change, said Kate Warne, principal investment strategist at Edward Jones.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was slightly off the pace in screen-based trading, shedding 2% at US$32.70, despite topping expectations with its first quarter earning. Low interest rates have played an important role in the economic recovery of the last decade, and the yield on the 10-year note is a benchmark for many kinds of interest rates including mortgages.

The S&P is down 35.58 points, or 1.3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 425 points Tuesday to close at 24,024.

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Stocks got off to a weak start as investors anxious that growing costs for raw materials along with rising interest rates would hold back profit growth for USA companies. Many investors now believe the Fed will hike rates four times this year.

CURRENCIES: The dollar inched up to 108.86 yen from 108.84 yen.

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:TXN) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.35 per share on $3.79 billion in revenue - more than analysts were expecting - and gave an upbeat current-quarter outlook. The euro fell to $1.2175 from $1.2237. 3M, the maker of scotch tape and Post-it notes, saw its shares fall by 6.8 percent.

The Russell 2000 is up 14.96 points, or 1 percent.

Oil rose above $75 a barrel to its highest level since November 2014, but then reversed course as U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to try to resolve U.S. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.9 percent, helped by the weaker yen.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent while the French CAC 40 added 0.1 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.

Benchmarks in Hong Kong and South Korea fell as much as 1% by midday, while a number of other markets logged declines of at least 0.5%.