Stocks were slightly lower in midday trading Thursday as a series of weaker earnings from the likes of Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) pressured markets. Apple (AAPL) was leading the tech sector lower on reports a component in its Apple Watch was defective. Exxon beat estimates in its first quarter, though sales tanked 37% as lower oil prices ate into the topline. Salesforce.com (CRM) extended yesterday's rally. The company's shares had surged on reports it was working with financial advisers to field takeover offers. Avon Products (AVP) fell after reporting an 18% decline in quarterly revenue due to a stronger U.S. dollar.
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