* S&P 500 trades above 1,523.57 to hit highest intraday
since Nov 1, '07
* Obama urges $50 billion spending to repair U.S.
* Comcast jumps after cable company says to buy rest of NBC
* Indexes: Dow down 0.4 pct, S&P flat; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Feb 13 U.S. stocks were little changed
on Wednesday after the S&P 500 index hit a November 2007
intraday high, but volume was low and investors stayed cautious
with indexes near multi-year closing highs.
The benchmark index got a boost from Comcast Corp
when the cable company said it will buy the rest of NBC
Universal for $16.7 billion from General Electric Co.
Equities have been strong performers until recently, buoyed
largely by healthy growth in corporate earnings, which helped
the S&P 500 to rise 6.5 percent so far this year. The Dow
industrials are about 1 percent away from an all-time intraday
high, reached in October 2007.
Those gains could leave the market vulnerable to a pullback
as investors take profits amid a dearth of new catalysts. While
analysts see an upward bias in stocks, recent daily moves have
been small and trading volumes light with indexes at multi-year
"I was expecting a 12-15 percent return on the S&P for the
whole year of 2013, and we have done about half of that in just
5-6 weeks," said Jack De Gan, principal at Harbor Advisory in
Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
"We will hit resistance, but the fundamentals and micro
picture are looking good, so if there is a correction it's going
to be a brief one."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 52.99
points, or 0.38 percent, at 13,965.71. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 0.61 points, or 0.04 percent, at
1,518.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.35
points, or 0.11 percent, at 3,189.85.
Economic data proved no catalyst giving investors direction.
The government said retail sales rose 0.1 percent in January, as
expected. Tax increases and higher gasoline prices restrained
The S&P 500 was well over its 50-day moving average of
1,460.92, a sign the market could be overbought.
Comcast agreed late Tuesday to buy General Electric Co's
remaining 49 percent stake in NBC Universal for $16.7
billion. Comcast jumped 6.2 percent to $41.40 as the S&P's top
percentage gainer while Dow component GE was up 3 percent to
Deere & Co reported earnings that beat expectations
and raised its full-year profit outlook. After initially
rallying in premarket trading, the stock fell 2.3 percent to
According to the latest Thomson Reuters data, of the 353
companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 70.3
percent have exceeded analysts' expectations, above a 62 percent
average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are estimated
to have risen 5.3 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9
percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.
Industrial and construction shares were lower even though in
his State of the Union address President Barack Obama called for
$50 billion in spending to create jobs by rebuilding degraded
roads and bridges. ID:nL1N0BC2VX]
The Dow Jones Home Construction index was off 0.2