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Stocks end narrowly mixed ahead of jobs report, S&P sets record high

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 | 4:47 PM ET
Pisani's market close
Monday, 21 Oct 2013 | 4:00 PM ET
CNBC's Bob Pisani looks at the day's market action including a slew of earnings. Hasbro reached a historic high.

Stocks finished narrowly mixed in lackluster trading Monday, after the S&P 500 hit another record high and as investors were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the September government jobs report.

(Read more: After-hours buzz: Netflix, Texas Instruments & more)

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 7.45 points to end at 15,392.20, dragged by Boeing and UnitedHealth. The blue-chip index traded in a tight 48-point range.

The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.16 points to close at 1,744.66, hitting another intraday record. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq nudged up 5.77 points to finish at 3,920.05, touching a fresh 13-year high.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended above 13.

Among key S&P sectors, health care led the laggards, while telecoms climbed.

"Those that are looking for a pullback that lasts for more than a couple of hours should be patient and wait for a break of short-term trend line support on the S&P which is currently at 1,728," wrote Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. "A clear break there also takes the S&P below the just pierced 1,730 level."

Bull market has 10 to 15 years left: Technician
The stock market is only in the second of three phases of a secular bull market, Altaira Director of Technical Research Ralph Acampora says.

Among earnings, McDonald's posted profit just ahead of Wall Street expectations but revenue was light, sending shares lower.

(Read more: The earnings excuse you'll hear everywhere)

Gannett slumped after the newspaper chain reported a revenue decline due to of weak advertising sales.

Hasbro rallied after the toy company posted a higher-than-expected profit as robust demand overseas helped offset domestic weakness.

Discover Financial, Netflix and Texas Instruments are slated to post earnings after the closing bell.

According to Deutsche Bank, of the 80 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 70 percent have topped analysts' earnings expectations, but only 53 percent have beaten sales forecasts.

(Read more: What this week's earnings will say about consumers)

Over the weekend, JPMorgan reached a tentative $13 billion deal with the U.S. government over probes over the financial giant's handling of mortgage-backed securities that plummeted in value during the housing crash of the late 2000s.

Apple gained after SocGen raised its rating on the tech giant to "buy" from "hold" and lifted its target price to $575 from $500. Apple is scheduled to hold a highly-anticipated product launch on Tuesday, where it is expected to unveil new versions of its full-sized iPad and iPad Mini just before the holiday season.

Facebook slipped after the social-networking site was down for some users Monday morning. Shortly after 11am ET, the company said full service had been restored. Facebook shares rallied to an all-time high last week, spiking nearly 160 percent in the last 12 months.

First Solar spiked higher to lead the S&P 500 gainers after JPMorgan said the solar company is among their top picks in the clean-tech sector along with EnerNOC and SolarCity.

Play the 'massive sea of liquidity': Trader
Continued monetary easing in the U.S. and Japan will provide another leg up for the stock market, says Joe Terranova of Virtus Investment Partners.

On the economic front, existing home sales in September slipped 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.29 million units, while prices rose at their slowest pace in nearly five months, according to the National Association of Realtors. Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to fall 2.9 percent to a 5.30 million-unit rate.

Investors will be focused on economic reports that were delayed due to the 16-day government shutdown. September non-farm payrolls report will be released on Tuesday.

"The principal focus will be September's labor market report tomorrow, which is expected to show that ahead-of-the-shutdown, non-farm payrolls were up 180,000, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at the more than three-and-half-year low of 7.3 percent," Emily Nicol, an economist at Daiwa Capital, said in a note.

(Read more: Buckle up: Here come the economic data)

Meanwhile, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said it will be "tough" for the central bank to have sufficient confidence in the strength of the U.S. recovery by its meeting in December to start scaling back the bond-buying program because the government shutdown has left the economic picture unclear.

"October is a tough one. December? I think we need a couple of good labor reports and evidence of increasing growth, GDP growth. It is probably going to take a few months to sort that one out," Evans told CNBC.

(Read more: Fed could up QE to$1 trillion a month: Marc Faber)

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

On Tap This Week:

TUESDAY: Sept. jobs report, Richmond Fed mfg index, Apple event, Nokia event, Microsoft Surface release; Earnings from DuPont, Travelers, United Tech, Amgen, Broadcom
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, Sept. import/export prices, FHFA home price index, oil inventories, LinkedIn mobile strategy event; Earnings from Boeing, Caterpillar, GlaxoSmithKline, AT&T
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PMI mfg index, new home sales*, natural gas inventories, Kansas city mfg index, Fed balance sheet/money supply; Earnings from Ford, 3M, Credit Suisse, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Western Digital, Zynga
FRIDAY: Durable goods orders*, consumer sentiment, iPhone 5s & 5c sold overseas, Twitter roadshow begins; Earnings from P&G, UPS

(*Report likely delayed due to government shutdown)

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