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Stocks little changed as investors assess earnings

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

NEW YORK — Stocks were little changed after a mixed batch of company earnings released on Wednesday.

IBM dropped 3 percent after its revenue fell short of what investors were expecting. Nor­folk Southern climbed 5 percent after the rail company said its fourth-quarter profit rose as shipping volume grew.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose a point to close at 1,844 Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 41 points, or 0.3 percent, at 16,373. The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,243.

Coach slumped 6 percent after the luxury goods maker reported a lower quarterly prof­it, citing weakness in women’s bags and accessories.

Small-company stocks are doing better than large ones since the beginning of the year, continuing a trend from 2013.

Among the day’s winners, TE Connectivity jumped $3.70 or 6.6 percent, to $60 after its earn­ings report. Norfolk Southern climbed $4.23, or 4.8 percent, to $92.94 after the rail company said its fourth-quarter profit rose 24 percent.

Despite the lackluster start to the year, most investors see no cause to call an end to the stock market’s rally just yet. The S&P 500 is down 0.2 percent in 2014 after a gain of almost 30 percent last year.

“You had a massive run last year,” said Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at BlackRock. “And it’s not unrea­sonable that the market digests those gains.”
 

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