US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends near flat; retailers fly for a second day
* S&P 500 hits resistance at 2013 year-end mark
* Target and Lowe's rally after results
* J.C. Penney shares jump after the bell
* January new home sales surge past forecasts
* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 flat; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks finished flat on Wednesday with investors hesitant to make a big move on the day before comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, though retailers' shares rallied on results for a second day.
Target Corp and Lowe's Cos Inc shares jumped following upbeat earnings and gave the biggest boosts to the S&P 500. An S&P 500 retail index gained more than 1 percent for a second day.
After the bell, shares of J.C. Penney Co Inc climbed 12.8 percent to $6.72 as the U.S. department store chain forecast more improvement in its comparable sales and gross profit margin this fiscal year. Continuación...