U.S. stocks closed little changed on Thursday, with the S&P 500 at another record, as investors considered mostly upbeat earnings from companies including Ford Motor and Facebook and mixed economic reports.
"There are two arguments, one is the pessimistic one that says we have to have a correction because we haven't had one for a long time and that valuations are stretched, and then the bullish argument is we're experiencing an improving economy and corporate profits are decent, so how this plays out is anyone's guess," said Martin Leclerc, chief investment officer at Barrack yard Advisors.
That said, "just because we haven't had one doesn't mean we have to have one now," he added of the idea a pullback is imminent.
"Last year, the market fluctuated on what Washington was doing, this year, it's focused on fundamentals, and earnings are great and employment is slowly improving, especially in the unskilled areas," said Frank Fantozzi, president and CEO of Planned Financial Services in Cleveland, Ohio.
"We have 70 to 72 percent meeting or beating on not just earnings but sales, so it's a very good quarter," Fantozzi added of second-quarter results from S&P 500 companies.
Facebook climbed to a record after the social network trounced estimates for quarterly profit and revenue; Ford shares rose after the auto manufacturer reported second-quarter results. Caterpillar shares fell after the maker of earth-moving machinery reported a second-quarter earnings beat, but fell short on revenue.