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US STOCKS-S&P 500 flat as growth concerns temper bank earnings

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 20:20 hrs

* JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs earnings jump

* Japanese airlines ground Dreamliners after emergency landing

* Apple climbs after three-day slide

* Indexes: Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday as a bounceback in Apple shares and gains in bank stocks offset concerns about global economic growth.

Goldman Sachs shares hit their highest level since May 31, 2011 as earnings nearly tripled on increased revenue from dealmaking and lower compensation expenses. JPMorgan Chase said fourth-quarter net income jumped 53 percent and earnings for 2012 set a record.

JPMorgan shares edged up 0.4 percent at $46.55 and Goldman was up 4.1 percent to $141.19.

They were among the first big banks to report results and helped to lift estimates for S&P 500 corporate earnings slightly to a 2.2 percent gain, Thomson Reuters data showed.

"Pretty solid numbers from both JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are putting a lot of momentum behind the financials, with a lot more names to report this week. But I think that's helping to put a better bid to the market overall," said Michael James, senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

Apple rebounded after three days of losses, making the Nasdaq outperform the S&P 500 and Dow.

"There could not have been more negativity around Apple going into today. So was it due for an oversold bounce on a trading basis? Absolutely," James said.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.31 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,509.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 1.01 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,473.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.04 points, or 0.39 percent, at 3,122.82.

A slow economic recovery in developed nations is holding back the global economy, the World Bank said on Tuesday, as it sharply scaled back its forecast for world growth in 2013 to 2.4 percent from an earlier forecast of 3.0 percent.

Apple shares were up 4.6 percent at $508.48. The stock closed below $500 on Tuesday for the first time since February.

Shares of Dow component Boeing fell 3.8 percent to $74.05 and was the biggest drag on the Dow, on concerns about its new Dreamliner passenger jets. Japan's two leading airlines grounded their fleets of 787s after an emergency landing, adding to safety concerns triggered by a series of recent incidents.

U.S. economic data showed U.S. consumer prices were flat in December, pointing to muted inflation pressures that should give the Federal Reserve room to prop up the economy by staying on its ultra-easy monetary policy path.

Other data showed U.S. homebuilder confidence in the market for single family homes held steady near seven year highs in January, suggesting the outlook for the housing market remained upbeat.




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