NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were bouncing between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday. FedEx sank after the huge package delivery company cut is profit forecast for the year.
FedEx, which many investors see as a bellwether for the global economy, said its earnings would take a hit because of weakness in its express delivery business. That's a sign that FedEx's customers around the world are choosing slower, cheaper delivery options. FedEx's stock fell 84 cents to $86.70.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 points at 13,053 as of 10 a.m. It was down 17 a few minutes after the market opened.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained less than one point to 1,405. The Nasdaq composite index was also up less than one point at 3,075.
Before the market opened, the Labor Department reported that U.S. companies got more productivity from their workers this spring than originally estimated. Productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the April-June quarter, up from an initial estimate of a 1.6 percent gain. Labor costs rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent, slightly lower than the 1.7 percent initially estimated.
Stock indexes were mostly higher in Europe and the yields on government bonds issued by Spain and Italy edged lower, a positive sign that investors are becoming more optimistic about the ability of those countries to repay their debts.
Benchmark indexes rose 0.5 percent in Germany and 0.3 percent in France and Spain.
European Central bank President Mario Draghi is expected to reveal details Thursday of a new bond-buying program aimed at cutting borrowing costs for Spain and Italy, the latest flash points in Europe's government debt crisis. Without some way to reduce the interest rates on the bonds they sell, the two nations could be pushed into asking for a bailout, following a path taken by Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Among other stocks making big moves:
_ Facebook gained 64 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $18.41 after its CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he will not sell any shares for a year. The company also announced a major share buyback.
_ Hartford Financial Services Group was trading at $18.34, up 63 cents, or almost 4 percent, the most in the S&P 500. The insurer and wealth manager said it had agreed to sell its retirement plans business to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance for $400 million.