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Dow at record level despite dull trading

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 | 6:02 AM ET

U.S. stocks come off a holiday-lightened session which saw the major averages trade in a very narrow range – but the Dow nonetheless set another all-time closing high, while the S&P 500 missed a record close by just 0.06 points. The Dow and the S&P 500 have each risen in three of the past four sessions.


Today's calendar is more notable for Fed speeches than economic numbers, although we will get the latest reading on small business sentiment from the National Federation of Independent Business at 7:30 a.m. ET. Fed officials scheduled to speak today include Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart.


Earnings reports out this morning include home builder D.R. Horton (DHI), Dean Foods (DF), Dish Network (DISH), and NRG Energy (NRG). Newly public restaurant chain Potbelly (PBPB) is among the companies releasing after the bell earnings reports, along with bond insurer MBIA (MBI).


Sotheby's (BID) is among our stocks to watch, with the auction house posting a third quarter loss of 44 cents per share, three cents narrower than expected, with revenue exceeding analyst forecasts. Sotheby's saw more private sale commissions, as well as auction commission revenue, during the quarter.


News Corp. (NWSA) reported a fiscal first quarter profit of three cents per share, excluding certain items, missing estimates by two cents, with revenue also below consensus. This was the first earnings report from News Corp. as a standalone print media company, following its spinoff from the company now known as 21st Century Fox.


Rackspace Hosting (RAX) reported third quarter profit of 11 cents per share, five cents below estimates, though revenue was roughly in line with forecasts. The cloud computing company's bottom line was hit by higher expenses, as it increases marketing efforts to attractive more business.


T-Mobile US (TMUS) announced a secondary offering of more than 66 million shares, with the mobile carrier saying it might use the proceeds to buy more wireless spectrum.


Hologic (HOLX) earned 39 cents per share for its fourth quarter, two cents above estimates, with revenue slightly below consensus. The maker of women's health care products also recorded a 1.1 billion dollar charge for impaired goodwill, as well as forecasting current quarter revenue and profit below Street estimates.


Emulex (ELX) is buying back $200 million in shares, and the maker of networking equipment is also reducing the size of its board to 11 from 12 and adding three independent directors. Former CEO and current executive chairman Jim McCluney will leave the company by February and won't stand for reelection to the board.


Wal-Mart (WMT) will begin offering special holiday deals at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, two hours earlier than last year. It will then stagger various deals through the night and into the next day.


Google's (GOOG) Motorola unit will introduce a lower-cost phone this week, according to the Wall Street Journal, as sales of its Moto X model remain weak. The new model will reportedly be known as the Moto G.