NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were little changed in early trading as traders lacked a catalyst to push stocks higher following a strong start to the year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose two points, 0.01 percent, to 14,615.05 as of 10:15 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.6 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,562.62.
The stock markets has moved largely sideways for the past three weeks, following a strong start to the year that pushed the Dow and the S&P 500 index to all-time highs. Signs of slowing growth and concerns about the outlook for Europe have checked investors' confidence.
Alcoa was little changed at $8.40 after the company topped Wall Street's profit expectations late Monday. The company was still weighed down by depressed aluminum prices, which offset strong demand from auto and plane makers. Alcoa is traditionally the first company in the Dow Jones industrial average to report results
J.C. Penney Co. dropped $1.67 to $14.22 following the company's ouster of CEO Ron Johnson after only 17 months on the job. Late Monday, J.C. Penney announced that it had rehired Johnson's predecessor, Mike Ullman, who was CEO of the department store operator for seven years until November 2011.
The Nasdaq composite fell 0.7 points, or 0.02 percent, to 3,222.
While stocks are struggling to extend their gains from the start of the year, bonds have rallied. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell to 1.74 from 1.75 percent.