REUTERS: Wall Street slid on Thursday morning, weighed down by a broad-based slump in technology stocks from Apple to chipmakers as well as a tumble in consumer staples such as Procter & Gamble.
A warning from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) , the world's largest contract chipmaker and an Apple supplier, on soft demand for smartphones and on the semiconductor industry's growth this year sparked a tumble in chip stocks.
TSMC's U.S.-listed shares fell 5.2 percent. Intel declined 2.2 percent and Nvidia sank 1.7 percent.
Each of the stocks on the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index was in the red, with the index down 2.7 percent.
Apple shares also fell 1.8 percent, with at least two analysts blaming the decline on TSMC's warning. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
At 9:54 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 92.72 points, or 0.37 percent, at 24,655.35, the S&P 500 was down 13.44 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,695.20 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 38.37 points, or 0.53 percent, at 7,256.87.
The consumer staples sector declined 2.5 percent. The biggest drag was a 12.5 percent drop in Philip Morris after its revenue missed estimates.
Also weighing was Procter & Gamble , which dropped 3.2 percent after the Dow component said shrinking retailer inventories and higher commodities and transportation costs squeezed its margins.
Still, not everything was gloomy.
American Express was up 3.4 percent after the credit card issuer topped Wall Street profit estimates. That led the financial sector 0.8 higher, making it the only gainer among the 11 major S&P sectors.
Amazon gained 2.1 percent after the e-commerce retailer said it now has more than 100 million Amazon Prime members globally.
"We are in a digestion period where we are inundated with massive amounts of information. On balance, things look great, the (profit) growth rate is at mid 20 percent on S&P," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.
Of the 52 companies among the S&P 500 that have reported first-quarter earnings through Wednesday, 78.8 percent topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Overall profits at S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased 19.4 percent in the first quarter, the biggest in seven years.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 2.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and nine new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 66 new highs and 32 new lows.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)