Stocks Close Mixed on Earnings and G-20 Anxiety


Stocks closed mixed Friday as another round of solid third-quarter earnings reports was checked by rising anxiety about the path of the dollar ahead of this weekend's meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) dropped 14 points to close at 11,132. American Express (AXP) and Verizon (VZ) weighed on the index after the market found fault with their respective third-quarter earnings.

The broader S&P 500 (INX) added three points, or 0.2%, to 1,183. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) rose 20 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 2,479.

Stocks managed to pull off their third straight positive week despite Friday's malaise. The three major averages eked out gains of less than 1% on the week.

The market has rallied more than 12% since the beginning of September in part because companies continue to show sharp rebounds in profits, says Cort Gwon, director of trading strategies and research at FBN Securities.

"Third-quarter earnings season has been very, very strong," Gwon says. "About 85% of the companies have beaten analysts' estimates. And expectations were very high going into the quarter."

True, revenue gains have been far more modest, says Gwon, but the very fact of top-line growth is telling investors they need not fear a double-dip recession. For more on Gwon's view from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYX), see the video above.