NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday after recent rallies, as investors were waiting for positive catalysts to push the market higher.
European equity markets traded broadly lower Wednesday as investors had been speculating about leadership changes in Spain and Italy. Also, investors were watching closely the size of derivative-related losses, probably much higher than the initial estimate, suffered by Monte dei Paschi, Italy's third largest bank.
No major economic reports of the United States were released Wednesday.
The main stock indices traded in the red territory in most of Wednesday's trading amid releases of a batch of mixed corporate earnings reports.
Time Warner shares surged 4.10 percent to 52.01 U.S. dollars and Walt Disney advanced 0.42 percent to 54.52 dollars after the two media companies beat market expectations on their latest quarterly earnings.
News Corp, another media giant, reported higher quarterly profit shortly after the closing bell, boosted by strong growth at its cable networks. But the media conglomerate's shares nevertheless slipped in after-hours trading.
Aflac shares fell 2.31 percent to 51.18 dollars though the insurance company said late Tuesday that its earnings rose 9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Green Mountain shares plummeted in after-hours trading after the coffeemaker reported late Wednesday that it earned an adjusted 76 cents per share.
Both Credit Suisse and Sony are scheduled to report their results ahead of the opening bell Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7.22 points, or 0.05 percent, to 13,986.52. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index went up 0.83 points, or 0.05 percent, to 1,512.12. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 3.10 points, or 0.10 percent, to 3,168.48.
The U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies Wednesday as investors were concerned over political uncertainties in Europe.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery lost 0.02 percent to settle at 96.62 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as U.S. inventories increased last week and concerns about European debt problems re-emerged.
Brent crude for March delivery last traded slightly higher by 31 cents to 116.83 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.32 percent to settle at 1,678. 8 dollars per ounce Wednesday.