The Nasdaq was down 1% to 3,073 in midday trading Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.05% to 13,550.
The S&P 500 fell 0.27% to 1,457.
The yield on a 10-year treasury bond was down 0.17% to 1.81%.
The price of gold was off 0.38% to $1,749 per ounce.
Patent licensor Acacia Research Corp. of Newport Beach rose about 3% to $25 for a market value of $1.3 billion. Acacia is expected to report earnings for the three months through September after market close today.
Shares of Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell about 5% to $3 on light trading amid a general decline among drug makers. Avanir had a recent market value of $419 million.