Stocks Fall Flat as Traders Mull Corporate News

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The markets were little changed Wednesday as traders mulled a slew of news from big-name companies.

Today's Markets

As of 12:16 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.5 points, or 0.06%, to 13988, the S&P 500 gained 0.89 point, or 0.06%, to 1512 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.3 points, or 0.07%, to 3174.

Tuesday's steep selloff proved to be but a blip on the radar for the markets' big run this year, with the major market averages nearly making up for the losses in a rally the following session. The Dow is up 6.7% for the year, while the broader S&P 500 is up 6%. Both are eyeing record highs. 

With very little in the way of data out on the day, focus was on corporate news. 

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Walt Disney (DIS) unveiled better-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter. Shares of the Dow component jumped more than 3% in early trading. CVS Caremark (CVS) also posted a beat on the top and bottom lines, while Time Warner (TWX) revealed profits that topped expectations with sales that fell short. 

The pace of mergers and acquisitions continues heating up after Dell's (DELL) big take-private deal announced Tuesday. Liberty Global (LBTYA) said it would buy Virgin Media (VMED) for $16 billion in a cash and stock deal. It is expected to shake up the U.K. cable market. 

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares also got a boost on a report from online magazine Quartz, saying the struggling PC-maker's board is considering a breakup among several options. However, a source familiar with the matter tells FOX Business the company wants to stay together. 

U.S. and U.K. regulators ordered Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to pay $612 million total over manipulation of Libor, a benchmark global interest rate. 

Oil futures came under heavy selling pressure as the dollar advanced 0.34% against a basket of world currencies. The benchmark contract traded in New York fell $1.21, or 1.2%, to $95.45 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell a penny, or 0.4%, to $3.025 a gallon. In metals, gold rose $2.70, or 0.16%, to $1,676 a troy ounce. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.79% to 2630, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.32% to 6304 and the German DAX dipped 0.47% to 7628.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 3.8% to 11464 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged up by 0.47% to 23257.


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