* Main European markets dip
* Apple iPhone sales dip spurs consumer health worry
* Fed statement eyed for signal of June rate hike
(Updates with European market close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 3 World stock markets fell on
Wednesday as declines in iPhone sales brought about some
concern about consumer health, while the dollar edged higher
before a U.S. central bank statement that may signal a rate hike
Apple Inc was down 0.3 percent, paring earlier
declines, after it reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales in
its fiscal second quarter on Tuesday. The drop came
on the heels of a decline in sales for U.S. automakers for April
and a soft first-quarter reading on U.S. growth last week.
Even with the decline in iPhone sales, Apple still managed
to top earnings estimates in what has been a strong quarter for
U.S. companies. Thomson Reuters data shows first-quarter growth
is currently expected to be 14.2 percent, the best quarter since
2011, with 357 of S&P 500 companies having reported.
"Despite some isolated incidents, overall the season has
been great," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and
derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
"And that's one of the reasons why the indexes are hovering
near record levels."
A report by payrolls processor ADP said private employers
expanded their payrolls by 177,000 jobs last month, the smallest
gain since the 62,000 increase last October as they faced
increasing difficulty finding qualified workers.
Other data indicated the pace of growth in the U.S.
economy's service sector increased in April, led by a jump in
new orders, according to an industry report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16.43 points,
or 0.08 percent, to 20,933.46, the S&P 500 lost 6 points,
or 0.25 percent, to 2,385.17 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 28.98 points, or 0.48 percent, to 6,066.39.
Europe's STOXX 600 index lost 0.04 percent to
retreat from a 20-month high and MSCI's gauge of stocks across
the globe shed 0.23 percent.
The U.S. economic data helped push the dollar higher ahead
of the Federal Reserve statement.
While the central bank is expected to leave interest rates
unchanged later on Wednesday, investors will look for signs it
may hike them in June. Traders are currently pricing in a
70.7-percent chance of a hike of at least a quarter-point next
month, according to CME's FedWatch tool.
The dollar index rose 0.12 percent, with the euro
down 0.12 percent to $1.0914.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price
to yield 2.2982 percent, from 2.296 percent late on Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury said it is studying the possibility of
issuing ultra long-term bonds.
Oil prices retreated from earlier highs after U.S.
government data showed a smaller-than-expected decline in
domestic crude inventories and weak demand for gasoline, feeding
concerns about a supply glut.
U.S. crude fell 0.06 percent to $47.63 per barrel
and Brent was last at $50.59, up 0.26 percent on the
(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and Chizu Nomiyama)