Stocks closed lower on Wednesday for the third session in four, with market direction largely dictated by the swings in shares of Apple, the world's largest company in market value.

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 97.11 points, or 0.75 percent, at 12,781.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 7.25 points, or 0.54 percent, at 1,343.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 16.00 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,915.83.

(Reporting By Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)