* S&P 500 hits highest intraday level since Nov. 1, 2007
* Comcast jumps on news it will buy rest of NBC Universal
* Deere shares fall, sales outlook disappoints
* Dow down 0.3 pct; S&P up 0.06 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Feb 13 U.S. stocks drifted in light
volume on Wednesday, ending little changed, as investors
remained cautious after the S&P 500 index briefly hit its
highest intraday level since November 2007.
The S&P 500 was buoyed by General Electric after
cable company Comcast Corp said it will buy from GE
the the part of NBCUniversal it didn't already own for $16.7
Comcast's stock hit the highest since 1999 before closing up
3 percent at $40.13 and GE gained 3.6 percent to $23.39.
The S&P 500 is up 6.6 percent so far this year, partly due
to stronger-than-expected corporate earnings and a better
economic outlook. The Dow industrials is about 1 percent away
from an all-time intraday high, reached in October 2007.
Volume has been weak in recent days with the S&P moving
sideways around 1,520. The index is about 3 percent away from
closing at a record high.
A scarcity of sellers after a consistent string of gains is
a positive sign and shows the uptrend is intact, King Lip, chief
investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San
"Last year we had double-digit returns in the first quarter.
It's fairly possible we can move higher from here," he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 35.79 points or
0.26 percent, to 13,982.91, the S&P 500 gained 0.9 point
or 0.06 percent, to 1,520.33 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 10.38 points or 0.33 percent, to 3,196.88.
The S&P gained 12 percent in the first three months of 2012.
Deere & Co, the world's largest farm equipment maker,
forecast a modest increase in sales this year despite the
prospect of the biggest corn crop in U.S. history. The forecast
fell short of analysts' expectations, sending shares of Deere
down 3.5 percent to $90.68.
In extended trading, shares of technology bellwether Cisco
Systems fell 2 percent after it posted results.
Dr Pepper Snapple fell 5.8 percent to $42.69 after
it forecast profit for the current year below analysts'
Cliffs Natural Resources lost a fifth of its market
value a day after the miner reported a quarterly loss and
slashed its dividend by 76 percent. Its shares fell 20 percent
According to the latest Thomson Reuters data, of the 364
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.
About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock
Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average in
February last year of 6.94 billion.
On the NYSE, roughly seven issues rose for every five that
fell and on Nasdaq more than six rose for every five decliners.