* Goldman Sachs profit doubles, helped by bond trading
* Coke profit falls on wet weather, weak economy
* Indexes: Dow flat; S&P down 0.1 pct; Nasdaq flat
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, July 16 U.S. stocks were little
changed on Tuesday as profit-taking after the S&P 500's
eight-day advance and investor caution ahead of the Federal
Reserve Chairman's congressional testimony overshadowed solid
results from Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson.
After closing at fresh record highs, the Dow and the S&P
fluctuated between modest gains and losses in early trade. The
Nasdaq, after closing at its highest since Sept. 2000, remained
mostly in positive territory.
The market was also hesitant to make big bets ahead of
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before the
House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. His comments
will be closely analyzed for signs of when the central bank may
start reducing its stimulus efforts.
"We expect Mr. Bernanke to stick to the script that the
economy has made significant progress when compared to the
months ahead of the onset of QE3," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief
economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
"Moreover, we would not be surprised to hear Mr. Bernanke
discuss the implications of releasing the tapering genie from
Also weighing on the market was Coca-Cola Co, which
reported weaker-than-expected sales volumes due to ongoing
economic malaise and unusually poor weather, sending its shares
down more than 2 percent to $40.03.
But Johnson & Johnson shares rose 0.5 percent to
$90.84 after reporting higher-than-expected second-quarter
earnings as strong sales of prescription drugs and medical
devices more than offset anemic growth of its consumer products.
Financial stocks were the day's outperformers with the S&P
500 financial sector index up 0.2 percent. But Goldman
Sachs shares were down 0.1 percent at $162.76 after
trading higher in premarket.
Goldman reported quarterly profit doubled as the bank made
more money trading bonds before an interest-rate spike hit
markets in June. On Monday, Citigroup's
strong earnings helped push the S&P 500 to its longest winning
streak since mid-January.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.01
points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,478.25. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 1.44 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,681.06.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.01 points, or 0.03
percent, at 3,606.48.
"I continue to watch the late-May high of 1,687 on the S&P
500 Index," said Bryan Sapp, senior trading analyst at
Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Above there, I'm looking for 1,700 to be the next area for
On Tuesday, data showed consumer prices rose more than
expected in June as gasoline prices jumped, but underlying
inflation pressure remained benign, pointing to lukewarm
U.S. homebuilder confidence rose in July to its strongest
level in 7-1/2 years as tightening supply and solid demand even
in the face of rising mortgage rates fueled the sector's