U.S. stocks edging lower in early trading Wednesday following two days of losses. Worries over the timing of a U.S. rate increase, economic weakness in China and an impending referendum on Scottish independence kept trading subdued, according to AP.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,986 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,984. The Nasdaq composite fell four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,547.
DOUGHNUT DOLDRUMS: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts fell 63 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $17 after reporting earnings that fell short of analysts' forecasts.
THE FED: Investors are questioning whether the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise its benchmark interest rate sooner than previously expected. In a paper this week, two San Francisco Fed economists said the public appears to expect a 'more accommodative policy' than Fed board members do.
THE QUOTE: 'The unwelcome specter of interest rate rises hangs over markets,' said Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG.
EUROPE STOCKS FLAT: France's CAC-40 slipped 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent. The FTSE 100 of leading British shares was steady at 6,828.
CHINA'S STRUGGLE: Investors are keeping an eye on China amid signs of slumping economic growth. Manufacturing growth slowed in August and imports unexpectedly shrank by 2.4 percent.
ENERGY AND BONDS: Benchmark U.S. crude was off 50 cents at $92.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Traders are expecting ample supplies and weak demand for oil. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.53 percent from 2.50 percent.