Stocks mixed as big earnings week kicks off

October 20 02:14 2015

Stocks were trading mixed at midday Monday s investors await a big week of earnings reports and react to data out of China which shows GDP growth below 7%. The Dow Jones industrial average  which is looking to extend its weekly winning streak to four, was slightly lower, falling about 20 points, or 0.1%. After suffering its first 10% downdraft, or correction, this summer, the Dow has rebounded in recent weeks. The  blue-chip stock gauge has finished up three straight weeks, its longest winning streak since late last year. The rally has helped the Dow trim its decline from its May high to 6% and leaves it down 3.4% for the year.2013-11-04T131020Z_8_CBRE99U0VX000_RTROPTP_3_MARKETS-STOCKS_original

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite index was up 0.3%. Driving stocks early Monday is news out of China, where third-quarter GDP came in at 6.9%. While growth last quarter was better than the 6.8% growth rate analysts had forecast, it was still below the second-quarter’s 7% growth and raised questions as to whether China will be able to reach its full-year GDP target of +7%.

The concerns over China’s growth rate hit the oil patch, where U.S.-produced crude was down more than 2% to $46.13 per barrel in early trading. Traders were also gearing up for a big week of earnings reports. More than 20% of S&P 500 companies and a dozen Dow stocks are set to report.

The results were mixed early Monday. Citing market turbulence that hurt trading and other lines of business, Morgan Stanley’s earnings fell 20 cents shy of expectations, with revenues missing big, too. That hurt Morgan Stanley’s (MS) shares, which were down 5.5%. Halliburton (HAL)  topped forecasts by three cents. IBM (IBM) reports after the closing bell later today. So far this earnings season, 71% of the 58 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported result have topped forecasts, vs. a 63% long-term beat rate. Still, profit is expected to contract 3.9% this quarter, and barring strong results could mark the first negative quarter for earnings since 2009 during the financial crisis.

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