US STOCKS-Wall St flat on earnings; IBM pressures Dow

Reuters - UK Focus

* IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) shares fall on weak revenue, pressuring Dow

* Transport index hit new high, Norfolk rallies

* BlackBerry (Berlin: RI1.BE - news) rallies for third straight day

* Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) and eBay rally after market close

* Indexes: Dow off 0.3, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , Jan 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed flat onWednesday as a mixed bag of corporate earnings failed to giveinvestors the confidence to push equities higher with the indexnear record levels.

For the second day in a row, the Dow posted outsized lossesfollowing weak results from one of its components while theNasdaq climbed, with BlackBerry one of its biggest boosts.

International Business Machines Corp lost 3.3percent to $182.25, the biggest drag on the Dow after the techgiant missed revenue expectations for a fourth straight quarteramid weakening demand, particularly in growth markets likeChina.

The results followed disappointments from Verizon (NYSE: VZ - news) ,Travelers and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) , which weighedon the blue-chip index on Tuesday.

IBM's decline offset modest gains from fellow componentUnited Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) , which rose 1 percent to$116.12 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings that toppedWall Street estimates, although revenue was shy of expectations.

"We've seen significant decreases in a company's ability todeliver on earnings this quarter ... however, we've also seensigns that the top-line growth we've been looking for isstarting to emerge," said Kristina Hooper, head of portfoliostrategies at Allianz Global Investors in New York.

"Seeing a broad-based top-line growth trend would reallyspeak to the health of the economy ... that's allowed for themarket to hang in there despite some disappointments."

With 16 percent of the S&P 500 having reported, about 61percent have topped profit expectations, according to ThomsonReuters data, compared with the average of 67 percent over thepast four quarters. More than 66 percent have topped revenueexpectations, above the 55 percent average over that timeframe.

About eight companies have issued negative outlooks forevery positive one, which would mark the lowest ratio on recordshould it continue.

After the market closed on Wednesday, Netflix Inc reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by subscribergrowth. Shares surged 17 percent in after-hours trading.

Online auction site eBay Inc surged 11 percent to$60.44 after the bell following its results.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 41.10points, or 0.25 percent, at 16,373.34. The Standard & Poor's 500Index was up 1.06 points, or 0.06 percent, at 1,844.86.The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 17.24 points, or 0.41percent, at 4,243.00.

After a 29.6 percent jump in 2013, buoyed by the FederalReserve's massive stimulus, the S&P 500 is down 0.2 percent thisyear as investors look to corporate profits to justify currentprices. The index is 0.2 percent away from its all-time closinghigh.

"In general, valuations are stretched, though there arestill areas of opportunity for investors who are able to be moreselective," said Hooper, who helps oversee $436 billion inassets under management. "Focusing on areas with more growth maybe worth paying up for."

Also in earnings, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NYSE: AMD - news) slumped12 percent to $3.67 after forecasting a steeper-than-expectedfall in current quarter revenue, while Coach Inc (NYSE: COH - news) tumbled6 percent to $49.38 as the S&P's worst performer after it saidsales in North America fell further in the final quarter of2013.

On the upside, Norfolk Southern Corp jumped 4.8percent to $92.94 after its earnings beat expectations, helpinglift the Dow Jones Transportation average to a recordhigh.

Nuance Communications (NasdaqGS: NUAN - news) rose 7.8 percent to $16.05after giving a first-quarter outlook, helping to boost theNasdaq. U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry also buoyedthe tech-heavy index, jumping 8.6 percent to $10.78. Shares ofthe smartphone maker are up about 26 percent over the past threesessions.

About 62 percent of companies traded on the New York StockExchange closed higher while 55 percent of Nasdaq-listed sharesended in positive territory. About 6.23 billion shares traded onall U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data.

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