* Dow transports fall 3.2%
* Fed’s Beige Book points to trade concerns
* Bank of America rises after earnings beat
* Abbott climbs after full-year profit raise
* Indexes down: Dow 0.25%, S&P 0.39%, Nasdaq 0.17% (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline, adds NEW YORK to dateline)
By April Joyner
NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes dipped on Wednesday as weak results from CSX Corp stoked concerns that the protracted trade war between the United States and China could hurt corporate earnings.
CSX shares tumbled 9.9% and were set for their biggest one-day drop since 2008 after the rail freight company posted lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year revenue forecast. Ongoing trade tensions have contributed to a decline in truck and rail freight volumes in the first half of 2019.
The losses in CSX shares helped push down the S&P 500 industrials index, whose 1.9% slide was the largest among the S&P’s 11 major sectors. The Dow Jones Transportation Average fell 3.2%.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes from U.S. businesses, also pointed to trade-related pressures on transportation and manufacturing companies.
Despite a pause on additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, “none of the underlying issues have really been put to bed,” said Ed Campbell, portfolio manager and managing director at QMA in Newark, New Jersey. “It’s a risk factor that could come back at any time.”
Indeed, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he could impose tariffs on additional Chinese goods at any time.
But persistent trade-related concerns are a critical factor supporting expected interest-rate cuts from the Federal Reserve later this month, Campbell said. The anticipation of rate cuts has helped propel U.S. stocks to new highs in the past week.
“One of the things Trump is doing with trade is he’s using it as a cudgel against the Fed,” he said. “The Fed is citing uncertainty relating to trade as a reason they’re open to cutting rates.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 67.45 points, or 0.25%, to 27,268.18, the S&P 500 lost 11.8 points, or 0.39%, to 2,992.24 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.76 points, or 0.17%, to 8,209.03.
In addition to CSX, shares of other rail companies fell. Union Pacific Corp shares dropped 6.2%, Norfolk Southern Corp shares slid 6.3% and Kansas City Southern shares slipped 4.4%.
Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern will report results on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Bank of America Corp rose 2.0% after posting a profit beat, though the company lowered its annual net interest income forecast.
Profit for S&P 500 companies is expected to rise 0.4% in the second quarter from a year ago, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Abbott Laboratories shares rose 3.3% after the medical device maker topped quarterly profit estimates and lifted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.
Qualcomm Inc shares rose 0.8% after the U.S. Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to pause the enforcement of a sweeping antitrust ruling against the mobile chip supplier.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.55-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 77 new lows. (Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Uday Sampath Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Jonathan Oatis)