* Transportation stocks among worst performers
* Disney, Time Warner shares up after results
* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq down 0.1 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 6 U.S. stocks ended mostly flat on
Wednesday, taking another pause in the recent rally that has
driven the S&P 500 to five-year highs, as transportation and
technology shares lost ground.
Transportation stocks were among the worst performers.
Shares of CH Robinson Worldwide fell 9.7 percent to
$60.50 and the stock was the biggest percentage loser on the
Nasdaq 100 after the freight transport company posted a
lower-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit.
Without a strong catalyst, the market could struggle to
continue its rally, analysts said. The benchmark S&P 500 index
has advanced 6 percent this year, reaching its highest since
December 2007, while the Dow Jones industrial average has
risen above 14,000 recently.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts see a near-term
pullback likely, based on strong equity inflows at the start of
the year, said Dan Suzuki, the bank's equity strategist in New
"The fact that we've gone since November without seeing one,
from a timing perspective, it wouldn't be a surprise to see one
With fourth-quarter earnings nearing an end, the market will
be losing one of its big supports, said Frank Lesh, a futures
analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. "That's
one thing that's been holding the market up," he said.
Shares of Time Warner Inc jumped 4.1 percent to
$52.01 after reporting higher fourth-quarter profit that beat
Wall Street estimates, as growth in its cable networks offset
declines in film, TV entertainment and publishing units.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.22 points,
or 0.05 percent, at 13,986.52. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 0.83 points, or 0.05 percent, at 1,512.12. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3.10 points, or 0.10
percent, at 3,168.48.
Amazon.com shares, down 1.7 percent at $262.22, led
the decline on the Nasdaq.
Also causing some strain on the market, investors have been
speculating about leadership changes in Spain and Italy and
watching for comments from European leaders, analysts said.
European Central Bank policymakers are due to meet Thursday.
The Dow Jones Transportation average was down 0.2
percent after hitting another record high on Tuesday. The
average is up 10.7 percent for the year so far and has made a
series of new highs since mid-January.
According to Thomson Reuters data, 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.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are estimated
to have risen 4.7 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9
percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.
Walt Disney Co's stock was up 0.4 percent at $54.52,
after the company beat estimates for quarterly adjusted earnings
and gave an optimistic outlook for the next few quarters.
Volume was roughly 6.5 billion shares traded on the New York
Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the
2012 average daily closing volume of about 6.45 billion.
Advancers outpaced decliners on the NYSE by roughly 17 to 12
and on the Nasdaq by about 13 to 11.