Apple eked out a gain to close above $700 a share as the tech giant's latest iPhone 5 hit stores around the globe, with mobile carriers reporting record demand. AT&T , VerizonWireless and Sprint Nextel , which all support the new iPhone, finished higher. (See: Apple's iPhone 5 Launches Across the World)
Meanwhile, Research In Motion tumbled to near nine-year lows after the BlackBerry maker announced service outages in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that lasted several hours.
Stocks have been largely flat this week, following a sharp Fed-fueled bounce in the previous week that propelled major averages to multi-year closing highs.
“The test for the market now will be earnings season," said Krosby. "Will market maintain its positive bias if guidance continues to be negative?”
Some major industry bellwethers including FedEx and Intel lowered their outlooks earlier this month, citing a weak global economy.
Alcoa , which marks the unofficial start to earnings season, is scheduled to report on October 11.
Among earnings, Darden rallied after the parent company of Olive Garden posted earnings that topped estimatesand reaffirmed its sales and profit forecast for the year.
KB Home jumped after the homebuilder posted a surprise profit, but the company still reported revenue that fell short of expectations.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Chicago Fed nat'l activity index, Dallas Fed mfg survey, Fed's Williams speaks, Caterpillar analyst mtg; Earnings from Lennar
TUESDAY: S&P Case-Shiller home price index, USDA food prices outlook, consumer confidence, FHFA home price index, Richmond Fed mfg index, 2-yr note auction, RIM developers conf.
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, new home sales, oil inventories, 5-yr note auction
THURSDAY: Durable goods orders, GDP, jobless claims, pending home sales, 7-yr note auction, farm prices; Earnings from Discover Financial, Nike, Accenture, Research In Motion, Micron
FRIDAY: Personal income & outlays, Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment; Earnings from Walgreens
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