Around the World's Markets: New York

US STOCKS were slightly lower in early afternoon as the long bond's yield hit a near two-week high on fears of an overheating economy.

Traders said the long-running bull market was also hobbled by profit- taking and concerns about Friday's so-called "triple witching" expiration of futures contracts and options.

Drifting around its starting point, the Dow Jones index was off 4 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 1,1185 points.