* Insurer Travelers rises 3.4 percent after results, J&J
* Google, IBM and Texas Instruments to report late Tuesday
* Weak existing-home sales has little effect on market
* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Jan 22 U.S. stocks were little changed
near five-year highs on Tuesday as investors held back from
making large bets ahead of earnings from key tech companies.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at their highest levels so
far in this earnings season, with the gains largely coming on
better-than-expected results. But despite bullish statements
from major companies, many investors are worried economic
uncertainty in the fourth quarter hurt earnings and revenues.
Weaker-than-expected economic data had little impact on
stocks. Existing-home sales unexpectedly fell in December,
dropping 1 percent, according to the National Association of
Realtors. Analysts were looking for a rise of 1.2 percent.
Recently Apple Inc and Intel Corp gave
weak outlooks, calling the tech sector' outlook into question.
Three tech companies are due to report after the market's close:
Google Inc, International Business Machines and
"Markets are quiet today with many investors taking a
wait-and-see approach to tonight's tech earnings," said Douglas
DePietro, managing director at Evercore Partners in New York.
"There's still room for us to rise from here, but right now most
of the action is in specific stocks."
Four Dow components reported early on Tuesday, and three
rose on the results. Insurer Travelers Cos was the
stand-out, climbing 3.4 percent to $78.90 as the S&P 500's
biggest percentage gainer after it forecast higher premiums
across its business.
DuPont, the largest U.S. chemical company by market
capitalization, reported revenue that was ahead of Wall Street
expectations, while Verizon Communications Inc also
posted revenue that beat forecasts.
Shares of DuPont were up 0.6 percent at $47.24 while Verizon
rose 0.3 percent to $42.67.
On the downside, Johnson & Johnson, the diversified
health company, fell 0.5 percent to $72.87 after forecasting
2013 earnings below expectations.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.07
points, or 0.04 percent, at 13,643.63. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 1.56 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,484.42.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.52 points, or 0.08
percent, at 3,132.19.
Monday was a market holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
in the United States. President Barack Obama at his inauguration
for a second term on Monday called for aggressive action on
climate change, economic equality and the federal budget.
Markets have recently been pressured by uncertainty stemming
from Washington about the federal debt limit and spending cuts
that could hamper U.S. growth.
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives said they
aim to pass on Wednesday a nearly four-month extension of the
U.S. debt limit, allowing the government to borrow enough to
meet its obligations during that period.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings rose 2.5 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
U.S. shares of Research in Motion jumped
8.2 percent to $17.13 a day after its chief executive said the
company may consider strategic alliances with other companies
after the launch of devices powered by RIM's new BlackBerry 10