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.

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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.

Walt Disney (NYSE: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 (NYSE:CVS) also posted a beat on the top and bottom lines, while Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) revealed profits that topped expectations with sales that fell short.

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

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: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 (NYSE: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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