Apple (APPL) stock news update: Investors focused on Apple as CEO Tim Cook testifies

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- With stocks trading near record highs Tuesday, investors were focused on two widely-followed companies: JPMorgan and Apple.

The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all edged higher at the opening bell. With all three indexes up 17% to 18% so far this year, investors have been stepping back this week.

JPMorgan shareholders are set to vote on a proposal to split the roles of chairman and CEO, which are both held by Jamie Dimon. Shareholders also want to hear from the board about how they're shoring up risk controls.

Apple is also in focus as CEO Tim Cook and other executives appear on Capitol Hill to testify about the company's tax practices. A report released Monday by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin criticized Apple for its use of obscure subsidiaries and accounting tactics to reduce its tax burden.

Shares of Carnival plunged in early trading after the cruise ship operator slashed its earnings forecast, and said it was cutting prices in an effort to attract customers back onto its ships.

Stocks step back: Traders say the market is in a holding pattern ahead of testimony Wednesday from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

"[With] the absence of any economic news and the advent of Mr. Bernanke's testimony tomorrow, we'll look at sideways trading for most of the day," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist for Rockwell Global Capital.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will offer up his economic outlook in testimony before Congress Wednesday.

Earnings continue to trickle in: Shares of Best Buy slid after the electronics retailer widely missed sales forecasts. Dick's Sporting Goods stock was under pressure after the retailer missed revenue forecasts and issued guidance in line with estimates.

On the flip side, shares of Home Depot rose after the home improvement retailer reported quarterly increases in revenue, profit and same-store sales. The company cited an improving housing market and raised its sales guidance for the fiscal year.

Yahoo shares rose after the company announced a revamped version of photo-sharing service Flickr late Monday, just hours after confirming it was buying blogging site Tumblr.

European markets were mostly lower in morning trading, with London's FTSE 100 trading at 14-year highs.

Asian markets ended mixed.

 
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