* Transportation stocks among worst performers
* Disney shares up after results
* Bull market running out of steam-analyst
* Indexes: Dow off 0.1 pct; S&P flat; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Feb 6 U.S. stocks were little changed
in late morning trading on Wednesday as investors awaited fresh
trading incentives after recent rallies took the S&P 500 to
Transportation stocks were among the worst performers,
weighed down by a 10-percent drop in CH Robinson Worldwide
to $60.49 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings.
The Dow Jones Transportation index shed 0.5 percent
after closing at a record high Tuesday for a gain of more than
10 percent in 2013.
A 6-percent advance this year so far has lifted the
benchmark S&P 500 index to its highest since December 2007,
while the Dow briefly climbed above 14,000 recently,
making it a challenge for investors to continue pushing the
equity market upward in the absence of strong catalysts.
"Overall, we believe that the next near-term market dip
should provide an opportunity to buy stocks ahead of rallies
higher in the coming months, but we are skeptical about the
long-term sustainability of these gains due to the maturing age
of the bull market," said Ari Wald, equity research analyst at
C&Co\PrinceRidge in New York.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was supported by Apple Inc
, which rose 1.2 percent to $463.62.
Walt Disney Co was among the bright spots, up 0.9
percent at $54.77, after the company beat estimates for
quarterly adjusted earnings and gave an optimistic outlook for
the next few quarters.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning,
of 301 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings, 68.1 percent have exceeded analysts' expectations,
above a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the
past four quarters. In terms of revenue, 65.8 percent of
companies have topped forecasts.
Looking ahead, fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies
are expected to grow 4.7 percent, according to the data, above a
1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 11.25
points, or 0.08 percent, at 13,968.05. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 0.05 points, or 0.00 percent, at 1,511.34.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.69 points, or 0.08
percent, at 3,174.27.
The benchmark S&P index rose 1.04 percent Tuesday, its
biggest percentage gain since a 2.5-percent advance on Jan. 2,
when legislators sidestepped a "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts
and tax hikes that could have hurt a fragile U.S. economic
Ralph Lauren Corp climbed 7.1 percent to $176.57 as
the best performer on the S&P 500 after reporting renewed
momentum in its holiday-quarter sales and profits.
Time Warner Inc jumped 4.1 percent to $51.99 after
reporting higher fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street
estimates, as growth in its cable networks offset declines in
its film, TV entertainment and publishing units.