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Stocks flounder as Wall Street investors watch and wait

Wall Street Generic

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Stocks are still hovering near all-time highs. But they drifted lower Tuesday as there were few catalysts to drive the market even higher.

The S&P 500 index, Nasdaq and the Dow fell modestly.

Stocks in the U.S. and around the world have been buoyed by the Federal Reserve’s $85 billion a month stimulus program this year. The Fed is likely to pull back on its bond buying sometime in 2014. But investors are largely watching economic reports and waiting for more hints about when the Fed may finally make a move.

Earnings deluge continues: Investors did have a slew of earnings reports from top companies to parse through.

AOL was the big winner Tuesday morning. The online media company’s stock spiked more than 7%, despite a sharp drop in profits. Investors looked more closely at the company’s double-digit advertising revenue growth.

Michael Kors also soared on better-than-expected earnings. The fashion retailer also raised its outlook.

T-Mobile US had a wild ride Tuesday. After initially popping in early trading, its stock dipped more than 2%.The wireless company reported growth in quarterly revenue and one million new subscribers.

CVS surged on positive earnings, hitting its all-time high. Its results also pulled up shares of drug store rival Walgreen.

DirecTV didn’t fare as well. Its stock tumbled, despite reporting a rise in profits and new subscriber growth.

Tesla Motors and 21st Century Fox are due to report results in the afternoon.

Investors are eagerly awaiting Tesla’s results. The electric car maker’s stock has been one of the hottest market performers this year.

IPO fever: It’s a big week for IPOs with more than a dozen new companies debuting.

Of course the IPO that everyone is watching is Twitter, which is expected to price its offering on Wednesday evening and begin trading Thursday.

World markets also fall: Major European markets moved lower, as investors digested the European Commission’s latest economic forecast. A surprise drop in inflation last month has cast fresh shadows over the health of the European economy. Asian markets ended mixed.

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