As the market opened, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 58.73 points to 10,547.66, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 33.07 to 2,034.25. Technology investors were busy digesting earnings from the likes of AOL Time Warner, Intel, EMC and Apple Computer. A big report from IBM is expected after the market closes.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said the consumer price index, the nation's broadest gauge of inflation, rose 0.2 percent in June after a 0.4 percent gain during the previous month. Excluding food and energy prices, the core index rose 0.3 percent. That tally was a bit higher than most economists were predicting.
The Department of Commerce reported that ground-breaking for new homes reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.658 million units in June, a 3 percent increase from the May rate of 1.610 million. Housing starts were up 6.3 percent from a year ago, but building permits fell, indicating that the housing sector may be slowing.
Meanwhile, Greenspan is testifying before Congress, and Wall Street will be listening for any hint about future interest rate moves.
Here are the key earnings to watch: AOL handily beat Wall Street estimates with second-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, but revenue was light at $8.9 billion, well short of Wall Street's target of $9.74 billion. The results left some analysts wondering about the company's future revenue growth.
Apple topped estimates, but many investors will be watching CEO Steve Jobs' speech at Macworld.
EMC's second-quarter results were in line with Wall Street's lowered expectations, but the company said the information technology spending remained weak.
Intel surpassed estimates with second-quarter pro forma earnings of 12 cents a share, but analysts were mixed on the results. Analysts questioned whether Intel could meet its revenue targets and noted the chip giant's earnings got a boost from a lower tax rate.
RealNetworks was hit with a double whammy--it missed estimates, and its CFO resigned. The company reported second-quarter earnings of a penny a share. RealNetworks was expected to report a profit of 2 cents a share, according to First Call.
Veritas Software met estimates for its second quarter, but cut its revenue growth dramatically. The company is projecting revenue growth of 25 percent to 35 percent, down from 35 percent to 50 percent.
Reuters contributed to this report.