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S&P in Holding Pattern as Apple Boosts Nasdaq

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC AAPL PFE PBI GT

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 was little changed on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve presidents began the first of a two-day meeting while a hedge fund's investment in Apple (AAPL) lifted the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 rose 0.04% to 1,685.96 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.01% to 15,520.59. The Nasdaq added 0.48% to 3,616.47.

Apple tacked on 1.2% to close at $453.32 as David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Management revealed that his hedge fund continues to hold an over $1 billion stake in Apple as it braces for the prospect of a global market correction.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in China recently, his third such trip to the Far East, as he attempts to restart sluggish revenue in what many believe will be the iPad maker's most important market.

Pfizer (PFE)advanced 0.44% to $29.67 after the company posted second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates and said it planned to separate its commercial operations into two units for branded products and a third unit for generic drugs. Pfizer's generics business, which represents 17% of total sales, has far lower profit margins than its patent-protected drugs, according to Reuters. Analysts have been urged Pfizer to spin off its generics business, and this business split could lead to that.

Pfizer posted adjusted income of $4 billion, or 56 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $4.45 billion, or 59 cents a share. Revenue fell 7% to $12.97 billion. Analysts were expecting second-quarter income of 55 cents a share on revenue of $13.01 billion.

Pitney Bowes (PBI) was the biggest gaining stock in the S&P, popping 12.8% to $16.60 after the office equipment company reported second-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 43 cents a share, and said that it has entered a deal to sell Pitney Bowes Management Services to funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management ( APO ) under which Apollo will buy the business for about $400 million in cash.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) was the second biggest advancer in the index, surging 8.9% to $18.56 after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results thanks to improved raw material costs and sales in Europe, where it's been achieving success in the summer tire market. The company posted second-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share on revenue of $4.9 billion versus the average analyst earnings estimate of 48 cents a share on revenue of $4.88 billion. The company said it anticipates a 3% to 5% increase in volumes in the third quarter driven by continued improvements in the emerging markets and a slow but steady recovery in mature markets.

Ahead of the open, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index showed a lower-than-expected year-over-year gain of 12.2% in May following a 12.1% increase in April. Expectations were for a gain of 12.4% in May, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of economists.

Also, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index came in at 80.3 for July, down from an upwardly-revised 82.1 in June. The index was expected to come in at 81.4 for July.

The Fed begins its meeting Tuesday followed by its latest policy announcement Wednesday. Tomorrow also brings second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product figures. The week will conclude with the release the U.S. government's July non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 1/32, lowering the yield to 2.604%.

Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.>

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