US STOCKS-Wall St flat ahead of Fed; Oracle shares slump

miércoles 19 de marzo de 2014 10:48 GYT
 

* S&P 500 coming off two-day rally, near record close

* Oracle falls after results, but KB Home rallies

* Investors don't expect curveballs in Fed statement

* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct (Updates to open)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors paused following a sharp two-day rally and looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

The S&P 500 was within striking distance of all-time highs, though an Oracle Corp selloff weighed on tech shares, and economic bellwether FedEx Corp sounded a sour note in its outlook. Geopolitical concerns related to Ukraine also remained in view.

Oracle was the S&P's biggest percentage loser, down 2.9 percent to $37.70 a day after it reported revenue below estimates, dashing hopes for a sustained turnaround. FedEx posted results below expectations and gave a weak full-year profit forecast, but the package shipper said it had been significantly hurt by winter storms, and the stock rose 0.7 percent to $139.64.

"Investors have to ask, with the market at record highs, are they willing to shake off subpar earnings in the face of potential geopolitical events unfolding? So far they're unfazed and relatively calm going into the Fed, but it won't take much to create some concern," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.   Continuación...