MARKET PULSE-Apple, Brinker, North Valley, Thermogenesis, Keryx
(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were flat on Wednesday, as the latest mixed bag of corporate earnings failed to give investors confidence to push equities higher after a strong rally last year. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.39 percent at 16,349.65, the S&P 500 was down 0.08 percent at 1,842.27 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.18 percent at 4,233.405.
** APPLE INC, $555.58, +1.19 pct
Activist investor Carl Icahn lashed out against the company again on Wednesday, saying the iPhone maker was doing shareholders a "great disservice" by refusing to sharply increase its share buyback program.
The billionaire, who has urged Apple repeatedly to return more cash to shareholders, tweeted that he had bought $500 million more shares in the company in just the past two weeks, bringing his total investment to more than $3 billion.
** COACH INC, $49.16, -6.45 pct
The company said comparable sales in North America fell 13.6 percent in the final quarter of 2013, the latest sign it is losing share in the handbag market to fast-growing rivals such as Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and kate spade.