Wall Street little changed ahead of earnings deluge

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NEW YORK -- Wall Street barely budged Monday as investors braced for a deluge of earnings report that could give Wall Street some clarity about how corporate profits fared in a slowing economy. Investors are waiting for signals that earnings held up during the third quarter, and that top executives are confident about the remainder of the year. This could help determine whether stocks continue a run-up that has seen the Dow Jones industrial average come within striking distance of the psychologically important 12,000 mark. The Dow, and other market barometers, could get direction as a number of blue chip names report earnings this week. Robust results from the likes of Citigroup Inc., 3M Co., Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. might help boost major indexes. Earnings reports released Monday have been mixed. Wachovia Corp. reported third-quarter profit rose 13 percent, but revenue missed projections. Toy maker Mattel Inc. topped Wall Street projections, while Charles Schwab Corp. posted a strong profit on lighter-than-expected revenue. In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.16, or 0.02 percent, to 11,962.67. Broader stock indicators were higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.65, or 0.05 percent, to 1,366.27, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.75, or 0.24 percent, to 2,363.04.
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