The Dow Jones industrial average slipped while other major indexes were little changed on Wednesday as investors booked profits after two days of strong gains and turned cautious at the approach of earnings season.

Shares of telecommunications companies fell after the Federal Communications Commission chairman praised moves by top wireless companies to open their networks. The S&P telecom services index <.GSPL> was down 3 percent.

The third-quarter season picks up after the market close when aluminum company Alcoa Inc releases its results.

Expectations for the quarter have been high following the second quarter's strong showing, where more than 70 percent of companies beat Wall Street's consensus estimates.

I think expectations are much higher than the previous two quarters where it was easier to beat, and investors now are going to be looking at the top line (revenue). I think that's where the market might fall short, said Alan Lancz, president, of Alan B. Lancz & Associates investment advisers in Toledo, Ohio.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 25.25 points, or 0.26 percent, at 9,706.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 0.28 points, or 0.03 percent, at 1,055.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 1.36 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,104.93.

Shares of Dow component Alcoa were up 0.7 percent at $13.98.

Helping to limit market losses was a successful 10-year Treasury note auction, which boosted confidence in U.S. assets including stocks and bonds.

It's a positive, as long as interest rates stay low and ...there's demand overseas, Lancz said of the auction.

Costco Wholesale Corp was up 1.8 percent at $58.95 after they posted profits that topped expectations.

Shares of Monsanto Co fell 1.6 percent to $74.14 after it reported a fourth-quarter loss that widened from the prior year.

Verisk Analytics Inc surged 23.4 percent to $27.15 in its trading debut on Wednesday, a day after it raised $1.88 billion in the biggest initial public offering by a U.S. company since March 2008.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)