Stocks were flat in early trading Wednesday, threatening to break a seven-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. Stronger corporate earnings reports and economic data have helped push the Dow and the broader S&P 500 index to levels last seen in June 2008.
Two of the 30 companies that make up the Dow report quarterly results Wednesday. Before the market opened, Coca-Cola Co. reported that its net income more than tripled, helped by the acquisition of a bottler and selling more drinks in North America. The stock rose 2 percent in early trading.
Cisco Systems Inc. is scheduled to release results after the market closes. Another member of the Dow, Walt Disney Co., rose 5 percent after reporting earnings late Tuesday that beat expectations thanks to stronger revenues at its ABC and ESPN networks.
The Dow rose 1 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 12,234. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 2 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,322. The Nasdaq composite lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,794.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose each of the last seven trading days, the first time that has happened since July. The index has had only one down day in the last 10, on Jan. 28 when the protests in Egypt escalated.
Falling stocks outnumbered rising ones two-to-one on the New York Stock Exchange in early trading.
No major economic reports are due Wednesday. Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve’s chairman, is making his first appearance in front of the House of Representatives since Republicans took control last month.
Bernanke is expected to face tough questions from Republican members of the House Budget Committee over the Fed’s efforts to boost the economy through buying $600 billion in government debt.
American International Group Inc. said it expects to take a charge of $4.1 billion to build up reserves against losses for its Chartis property and casualty insurance units. AIG dropped 1.6 percent in early trading.