US stocks fluctuated in early trade with S&P 500 Index up 0.68 points, or 0.06 percent, to trade at 1,179.73 at 09:53 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.47 points, or 0.08 percent, to trade at 11,015.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.24 percent.
Investors digested a mixed set of economic data, including CPI and housing starts, even as debt crisis in Ireland weighed on the sentiment. On Tuesday, stocks plunged on concerns that Ireland might need a bailout from the European Union/IMF and a slowdown in China may hurt its demand for commodities.
Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Economists estimated a 0.3 percent growth against 0.1 percent rise in the previous month. Core CPI was unchanged in October, the third month in a row with no change.
Construction of new homes touched an 18-month low in October, falling much more than expected. The US Commerce Department reported that privately-owned housing starts in October fell 11.7 percent from the previous month to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 519,000 in October, and against expectations of 600,000 for October.
Building permits, however, rose marginally during the month by 0.5 percent from September. However, it was down 4.5 percent from the same period last year. Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000, below expectations of 570,000 permits in October.
On the earnings front, Target Corp., the No.2 discount chain in U.S. behind Walmart (WMT), reported 23 percent rise in its quarterly profit as the retailer's attractive discount schemes have drawn more shoppers to its stores. Quarterly revenue rose 2.2 percent to $15.61 billion. Its shares are up 3.6 percent to $55.60 in early trade.
Target earned 74 cents per share, compared with 58 cents per share last year. Excluding a tax benefit if 6 cents per share, the company's earnings came in line with Street expectations of 68 cents, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
General Motors raised the proposed size of its IPO to 478 million shares from 365 million shares. This follows an increase in the estimated price range for the offering of common stock to $32 to $33 per share announced Tuesday.
The euro gained 0.14 percent to 1.3509 against the dollar while the greenback edged up 0.03 percent against the yen.
Crude oil futures pared earlier gains and fell 0.21 percent to $84.55/barrel while gold futures edged up 0.05 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with U.K. FTSE 100 down by 7.81 points, German DAX30 up by 26.39 points and French CAC 40 higher by 20.75 points.