Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM ET
Strong earnings reports from media giants Disney and Time Warner aren't impressing investors in early trading, and major U.S. market indexes are opening lower.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 60 points to 13,921 shortly after the opening bell Wednesday. It rose 99 points the day before.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell five points to 1,506 and the Nasdaq composite fell eight points to 3,163.
With no major economic news coming out, investors were focused on the latest earnings reports from U.S. companies.
Time Warner rose after reporting a 51 percent profit jump, citing rising fees from cable and satellite companies and higher ad revenue at its TV networks.
Disney rose after turning in results that were better than analysts had expected.
Aflac and Marathon Oil fell.
With the benchmark S&P 500 index at its highest since December 2007, investors are finding it a challenge to continue a move upward amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives, analysts said.
"We are a little bit at stall speed," said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York.
"We will continue to see earnings but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see us consolidate around this level on the S&P 500 for the next day or two, in the absence of some real compelling news, which is always a risk."
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of 278 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 68.7 percent have beat analysts' expectations, above a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters.
In another positive sign for corporate profits, 66 percent of companies have topped revenue forecasts. Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are now expected to rise 4.5 percent, according to the data, above the 1.9 percent forecast at the start of earnings season.
European stocks were mixed at midday as the previous session's tentative recovery lost steam, with euro zone banks sliding on renewed concerns over the health of the region's economy. <.EU>
Asian shares rose, with Japanese equities climbing to their highest since October 2008 on hopes of central bank monetary policy easing and optimism about the prospects for a global economic recovery.