* U.S. debt deal remains elusive
* Yahoo, Microsoft offset Apple
* US Bancorp results help lift financials
* Indexes off: Dow 0.12 pct, S&P 0.07 pct, Nasdaq 0.43 pct
(Adds Intel, American Express earnings)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 20 U.S. stocks closed near
unchanged on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street's best rally
since March, as the oncoming debt ceiling deadline overshadowed
strong earnings from Apple Inc.
Apple (AAPL.O) hit another all-time high one day after the
maker of the iPhone and iPad reported quarterly revenues that
far exceeded expectations. For details, see [ID:nN1E76I1K8]
The stock jumped 2.7 percent to $386.90 but, overall,
investors sat on their hands amid the unresolved debt ceiling
crisis in Washington. The White House and Congress were
negotiating a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling before a
looming default on Aug. 2. [ID:nN1E76I25I]
"The big elephant in the room is the debate about the debt
ceiling, and as the clock ticks we all know that we are going
to have a deal. It's just how soon," said Mohannad Aama,
managing director at Beam Capital Management LLC in New York.
"Until then, the market is going to be affected by the
daily news that is coming out of earnings season."
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI lost 15.51 points,
or 0.12 percent, at 12,571.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
.SPX shed 0.89 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,325.84. The
Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 12.29 points, or 0.43
percent, at 2,814.23.
Technology shares were lower, with Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O)
tumbling 7.6 percent to $13.48 after reporting lackluster
results, and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) dropping 1.7 percent to
$27.06 ahead of its quarterly report on Thursday.
Financials were the best performing sector, boosted by a
4.4 percent rise in US Bancorp (USB.N) to $26.14. The
Midwestern regional bank said second-quarter net income rose by
57 percent. The KBW Bank index .BKX climbed 1.5 percent.
In extended trade, chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) shed 0.7
percent to $22.84, while American Express Co (AXP.N) added 0.3
percent to $52.26. Intel issued a current-quarter revenue
forecast that trumped estimates, while American Express'
profits topped expectations. [ID:nN1E76I25R] and
Sovereign debt problems in Europe and the protracted
political battle over increasing the U.S. debt ceiling have
weighed on stocks. On Tuesday, there was progress toward a
$3.75 billion U.S. budget deal, prompting a late rally, but a
resolution remained elusive.
European Union leaders must find a convincing solution to
Greece's debt crisis at a Thursday summit or the global economy
will pay the price, the head of the European Commission said in
an unusually somber warning. [ID:nL6E7IK1QO]
On the U.S. economic front, existing home sales fell
unexpectedly to a seven-month low in June as cancellations of
pending contracts surged, according to the National Association
of Realtors. [ID:nN1E76J0LU]
Volume was light with about 6.38 billion shares traded on
the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, below the
daily average of 7.48 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,658
to 1,314, while losers beat winners 1,532 to 1,023 on the
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)