US stocks little changed around midday amid data, earnings

GMT 13:34 2015 Saturday ,31 October

Arab Today, arab today US stocks little changed around midday amid data, earnings

US stocks exchange
New York - XINHUA

U.S. stocks traded fractionally lower around midday Friday as Wall Street digested economic data and quarterly earnings reports.

At noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 3.74 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,752.06. The S&P 500 fell 1.90 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,087.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.56 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,071.71.

U.S. consumers' personal income and spending data came out slightly lower than expected. In September, the two figures increased 0.1 percent, respectively, according to the Commerce Department.

The price index for personal consumption expenditure, a gauge for the inflation level favored by the Federal Reserve, decreased 0.1 percent in September, following a decline of less than 0.1 percent in August.

"It will be difficult for the Fed to justify rate hikes at a time when income, consumption, and inflation growth are trending lower, leaving a December rate hike less likely than prior to this release," said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

Meanwhile, the final reading of consumer sentiment index published by Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan came in at 90.0 for October, missing market consensus of 92.5.

On the earnings front, shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. rose nearly 1 percent around midday Friday after the company's quarterly earnings surpassed market estimates but revenues disappointed earlier expectations.

The energy giant announced estimated the third-quarter earnings of 4.2 billion U.S. dollars, or 1.01 dollars per diluted share, compared with 8.1 billion dollars, or 1.89 dollars per diluted share a year earlier.

Shares of LinkedIn Corp. spiked more than 11 percent around midday after the release of the company's much-better-than-expected quarterly results. The professional online network also gave a strong full-year and fourth-quarter earnings forecast.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks inched down after wavering in a tight range as the country's third-quarter economic growth came out weaker than expected.

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