NEW YORK - A slump in technology shares Wednesday helped turn early gains in U.S. stock indexes into losses across industries, extending the market's losing streak to a third day.
Investors sent the Dow Jones industrial average up 200 points in morning, then began dumping some big tech stocks. Apple fell 2.2 percent, and Microsoft lost 1.5 percent.
By the end of the day, seven of the 10 industry sectors in the Standard and Poor's 500 index fell. Suppliers of raw materials, the focus of aggressive selling in recent days, rose 3.1 percent as investors hunted for bargains.
"You've got two days of massive selling of oil and commodity companies, so perhaps some are oversold," said Ernie Cecilia, Bryn Mawr Trust chief investment officer. He added, however, that they weren't cheap enough yet for him to join the buying.
The Dow lost 75.70 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 17,492.30. The Nasdaq composite dropped 75.38 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5,022.87. The S&P 500 gave up 15.97 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,047.62.
Some of Wednesday's biggest gainers were stocks that suffered big losses the day before. Freeport McMoRan, a mining company that fell 7 percent on Tuesday, rose 3.7 percent, gaining 25 cents to close at $6.99.
Oil drillers, which have been beaten down recently, also rallied. Exxon Mobil and Chevron each rose 1.3 percent, despite another drop in the price of benchmark U.S. oil.
Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading, said a recent slump in oil and other major commodities prices is signaling that the global economy is weak. That could mean more rocky days in the market.
"You got commodities in a death spiral," and that's impacting not just the U.S. economy, but also the global economy, he said. "Investors are taking off risk."
Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 35 cents to close at $37.16 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 15 cents to close at $40.11 a barrel in London.
In other fuels trading, wholesale gasoline rose 2.8 cents to close at $1.232 a gallon, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.239 a gallon, and natural gas fell 0.8 cent to $2.062 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In metals trading, precious and industrial metals futures closed broadly higher. Gold edged up $1.20 to $1,076.50 an ounce, silver rose 7 cents to $14.19 an ounce, and copper gained a penny to $2.07 a pound.