Market Wrap: Stocks Eke Out Tiny Gains as Energy Shares Slip

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Financial Markets Wall Street
Richard Drew/AP
By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks ended with slight gains Monday as investors were cautious at the start of a heavy week of earnings, but advances in top tech names gave some support.

The Dow and S&P 500 pared losses late in the session while the Nasdaq added to gains. Nike, up 2.1 percent, helped the Dow.

The energy index fell 1.9 percent as U.S. crude oil fell 2.9 percent. Copper fell after data showed a slowdown in China's economic growth.

Exxon (XOM) fell 1.8 percent to $80.99 and Chevron (CVX) fell 1.4 percent to $90.03, the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and the Dow.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-After such a significant rally, we're back at a level where we anticipated we'd see a little pressure.%"Energy and oil prices were down today, the industrials and materials sectors, so that took a little bit off the enthusiasm for equities," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

"After such a significant rally, we're back at a level where we anticipated we'd see a little pressure."

Morgan Stanley (MS) shares fell 4.8 percent to $32.32. The bank's profit fell for the second straight quarter, capping mostly downbeat quarterly results from major U.S. banks.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 14.57 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,230.54, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) gained 0.55 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,033.66 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 18.78 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,905.47.

Corporate Earnings

Several Dow components are posting quarterly results this week, including Caterpillar (CAT), Boeing (BA) and Coca-Cola (KO). S&P 500 earnings are expected to have declined about 4 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

China's economic growth slowed to 6.9 percent between July and September, still ahead of the 6.8 percent forecast.

U.S. homebuilder sentiment improved in October, with the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rising more than expected. An index of housing stocks was up 0.3 percent.

Weight Watchers (WTW) more than doubled in value to $13.92 after it said Oprah Winfrey will buy a 10 percent stake in the company and join its board.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,655 to 1,421, for a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,382 issues rose and 1,381 fell for a 1.00-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 53 new highs and 40 new lows.

What to watch Tuesday:
  • The Commerce Department releases housing starts for September at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Labor Department reports on state unemployment for September at 10 a.m.
Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
  • Discover Financial Services (DFS)
  • Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
  • Harley Davidson (HOG)
  • Lockheed Martin (LMT)
  • United Technologies (UTX)
  • Verizon Communications (V)
  • Yahoo (YHOO)
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