(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended mostly higher as investors weighed a set of better-than-expected corporate earnings reports.
The S&P 500 Index ended 0.51 percent higher at 1,507.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52 percent to finish at 13,954.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged 0.02 percent lower to close at 3,153.66.
Investors keenly await for announcement from the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)'s two-day policy meeting that began today.
Other economic reports of interest due to be released over the week include: ADP's jobs report, nonfarm payrolls, jobless claims and personal spending.
U.S. consumer confidence tumbled to 58.6 in January from 66.7 in December, reaching a 14-month low, a report from the Conference Board showed.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PFE, LLY, EMC, F, VMW, VLO, HES, STX, DHI, BMC
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) rose 3.20 percent after the New York-based pharmaceutical giant posted a jump in quarterly earnings as a hefty gain from the sale of its Nutrition business boosted results. Adjusted results also topped market expectations.
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) gained 3.19 percent after the company's quarterly results beat Wall Street expectations and the pharmaceutical giant raised its forecast for 2013.
EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) dropped 4.05 percent after the provider of enterprise storage systems guided earnings for the full year below market expectations. The company, meanwhile, reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) shed 4.64 percent after the Detroit-based automaker reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter, driven by an improvement in its American operations. However, the company widened its loss estimate for the Europe region.
VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a publicly traded division of EMC, issued revenue guidance that trailed market expectations. Many brokerages downgraded the stock. Shares of the provider of virtualization-based cloud infrastructure services tumbled 21.54 percent.
Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) jumped 12.78 percent after the company posted more than a 20-fold jump in its fourth-quarter profit, which beat Wall Street expectations by a wide margin, as cheaper crude boosted refining margins.
Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) soared 9.01 percent. Elliot Management has urged the energy company to conduct a strategic review, which could include implementing a substantial divestment program with a potential spinoff of the Bakken asset.
Seagate Technology Plc (NASDAQ: STX) slumped 9.36 percent after the maker of hard drives forecast third-quarter revenue that trailed consensus.
D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) surged 11.78 percent after the homebuilder posted first-quarter earnings that doubled from last year on higher home sales and prices.
BMC Software Inc. (NASDAQ: BMC) retreated 6.23 percent after the information technology services company lowered 2013 earnings guidance below analysts' estimates.
European markets ended in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.20 percent to close at 7,848.57. France's CAC40 advanced 0.13 percent to finish at 3,785.82. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.71 percent to end at 6,339.19.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 0.53 percent to close at 2,358.98. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.39 percent to finish at 10,866.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.07 percent to end at 23,655.17. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.56 percent lower at 19,990.90.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Crude oil futures rose 1.02 percent to $97.42 per barrel while natural gas futures dropped 1.92 percent to $3.23 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures advanced 0.58 percent to $1,664.60 per ounce and silver futures jumped 1.97 percent to $31.39 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.25 percent against the U.S. dollar at 1.3489. The British pound added 0.40 percent against the greenback to 1.5757, while the dollar slipped 0.14 percent against the Japanese yen to 90.7300.