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Stocks Wobble in Early Trading on Latest Batch of Earnings



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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors reviewed a mixed batch of corporate profits and financial forecasts.
Technology stocks made the strongest gains. Microsoft rose 1.5% after handily beating Wall Street’s quarterly profit forecast, and PayPal soared 9.5%.
Most other sectors edged lower. Communication companies fared the worst as Twitter plunged on weak results.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.74% from 1.76% late Wednesday.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 82 points, or 0.3%, to 26,752. The Nasdaq rose 0.3%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks fell 0.1%.
EARNINGS SCORECARD: One-third of companies within the S&P 500 have reported their latest financial results and have so far eased investor concerns about a sharp contraction. Companies within the index reported just over a 1.2% drop in profit overall. That is currently much better than initial expectations for a more than 4% contraction.
INJURED BIRD: Twitter dove 18.2% after reporting disappointing third quarter profit and revenue. The social media company blamed some of its problems in the most recent quarter on bugs related to its advertising platform. It also gave investors a weak revenue forecast for the fourth quarter.
CHARGING AHEAD: Tesla surged 16.6% after the electric car maker surprised Wall Street with a solid profit. Analysts expected the company to report another loss as it struggles to increase sales. The company took several cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, during the quarter.
GAINING ALTITUDE: Solid profits helped lift American Airlines 4.6% and push Southwest Airlines 5.8% higher. American Airlines beat Wall Street profit forecasts thanks in part to lower prices for jet fuel.
Southwest Airlines overcame the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max jets to beat analysts’ profit forecasts. It reported strong travel demand and rising ticket prices.
OVERSEAS: European markets moved broadly higher. The European Central Bank made no changes to interest rates or its bond purchasing during its latest meeting, which is Mario Draghi’s last as president. Christine Lagarde, former head of the International Monetary Fund, will take over leadership on Nov. 1.
Stocks in Asia also moved higher.