Stocks seen holding steady in summer lull

  @CNNMoneyInvest August 14, 2013: 8:16 AM ET

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Investors were preparing for another August trading day of muted market moves with many market participants away on holiday, leading to relatively low-volume stock trading.

U.S. stock futures were mixed ahead of Wednesday's open.

Companies including Deere (DE, Fortune 500) and Macy's (M, Fortune 500) were set to report their quarterly results before the opening bell. Cisco Systems (CSCO, Fortune 500) will report after the close.

On the economic front, the Census Bureau will release its monthly report on producer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

U.S. stocks finished slightly higher Tuesday. The main indexes rose between 0.2% and 0.4%.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) shares extended gains in premarket trading Tuesday after rising 4.8% during the trading day. The stock rallied on news that investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in the company, calling it "extremely undervalued."

Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) were up 2% in premarket trading, as investors grow more confident that the struggling smartphone maker can find a way to keep the company afloat.

On Monday, BlackBerry said its board has formed a special committee to look into "strategic alternatives," including the possibility of selling off the company, that would boost sales on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Related: Eurozone exits recession

European markets were relatively quiet in the afternoon, finding some support from strong economic reports in Germany and France.

Asian markets had a mixed day. Japan's Nikkei advanced by 1.3% while the Shanghai Composite dipped down by 0.3%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was closed due to weather-related problems. To top of page

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