Stocks Limp Along on Light Volumes
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks traded sideways Wednesday, pausing after a three-day rally as investors brace for economic reports from China and digest divergent views within the Federal Reserve on monetary stimulus.
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said in a Bloomberg TV interview Wednesday that he thinks more stimulus would risk "overburdening" central banks, just after Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said otherwise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 7 points, or 0.1%, at 13,176. There were 21 of 30 companies that traded higher on the blue-chip index.
Hewlett-Packard shares climbed 2.3% after the top PC maker increased its third-quarter earnings forecast.
McDonald's shed 1.6%. The fast-food giant reported flat July global same-store sales amid a decline in revenue in both the U.S. and Europe as well as the critical growth markets of the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. McDonald's succumbed to global economic woes following years of solid performance during the recession.
Walt Disney shares finished 1.4% higher after the media and entertainment conglomerate posted better-than-expected earnings but came up short of analysts' estimates on the top line.
The company reported after Tuesday's closing bell earnings of $1.83 billion, or $1.01 a share, in its fiscal third quarter ended in July on revenue of $11.09 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 93 cents a share on revenue of $11.31 billion.
Earnings were driven, in part, from strong ticket sales to movies like The Avengers.
The stronger sectors in the broad market were basic materials, energy and financials. Conglomerates, utilities and transportation were among the weaker sectors.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index finished flat and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 0.88% as investors awaited a batch of China data later this week.