US STOCKS-Wall St flat after two-day run; Fed on tap

miércoles 19 de marzo de 2014 13:36 GYT

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

* KB Home rallies after results, Adobe Systems falls

* Investors don't expect curveballs in Fed statement

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq off 0.1 pct (Updates to early afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

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

The S&P 500 was within 1 percent of its intraday record high, though a drop in Adobe Systems shares weighed on the tech sector, and economic bellwether FedEx Corp hit a sour note in its outlook. Geopolitical concerns related to Ukraine also stayed in focus.

Adobe's stock fell 2.3 percent to $66.96 and was the S&P 500's worst performer a day after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software reported first-quarter earnings. 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 slipped 0.3 percent to $138.21.

"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...