Stock futures slip as World Bank cuts outlook

Stock futures slip as World Bank cuts global growth forecast; Synaptics surges on acquisition

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NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks slipped after the World Bank downgraded its forecast for the global economy this year, citing a bitter American winter and the political crisis in Ukraine.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,945 as of 10:26 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 75 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,870. The Nasdaq composite slipped two points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,336.

GLOBAL GROWTH: The World Bank said late Tuesday that it expects the world economy to grow faster, 2.8 percent this year versus 2.4 percent in 2013. Its new estimate is weaker than the 3.2 percent expansion it had predicted in January.

TAKING PAUSE: Despite declines Tuesday and early Wednesday, the S&P 500 has been on a slow and steady rise since April and is now up 5.5 percent for the year. In recent weeks, encouraging economic reports have pushed the index to string of all-time highs, with its latest record of 1,951.27 occurring Monday.

TAX BOOST: H&R Block jumped $1.09, or 3.6 percent, to $31.83 after the tax preparation company reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations. The company's fourth-quarter net income surged as more people used its services and its prepaid card.

TOUCH-SCREEN TECH: Synaptics jumped $14.71, or 22 percent, to $81.30 in early trading Wednesday after the maker of touch-screen technology said it would buy smartphone and tablet chipmaker Renesas SP Drivers for $475 million. Because of the deal, Synaptics also raised its fourth-quarter revenue outlook.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: As stocks fell, government bonds rallied. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when Treasury prices rise, dropped to 2.62 percent from 2.65 percent on Tuesday. The price of oil was little changed from Tuesday at $104.39 a barrel.

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