October 19, 2015 / 12:40 AM / 2 years ago

U.S. dollar strong, crude oil falls, stocks hold up despite earnings

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 19, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose against the euro on Monday, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this week, while stocks on major world markets ended little changed despite further news of slowing Chinese economic growth.

U.S. stocks ended little changed but investors concern about the poor quality of third quarter earnings reports.

“People are waiting for an onslaught of earnings,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “There’s been enough negative guidance about the future to make people skeptical about the direction of the market.”

Several Dow components are posting quarterly results this week, including Caterpillar (CAT.N), Boeing (BA.N) and Coca-Cola (KO.N). S&P 500 index stock earnings are expected to have declined about 4.0 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Morgan Stanley’s profit plunged 42 percent (MS.N), after a poor quarter for big U.S. banks and the bank’s stock (MS.N) ended down 4.8 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 14.57 points, or 0.08 percent, to 17,230.54, the S&P 500 index .SPX gained 0.55 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,033.66 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 18.78 points, or 0.38 percent, to 4,905.47.

U.S. DOLLAR STRONG

The euro retreated to a 10-day low against the U.S. dollar as investors focused on a European Central Bank meeting later in the week that could pave the way for further stimulus to boost inflation in the euro zone.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.46 percent at 94.968 .DXY.

“I think the ECB on Thursday will push back against euro strength,” said Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Credit Agricole in New York. “We do not expect them to announce a new program, but perhaps lay the groundwork for an extension of quantitative easing.”

The stronger U.S. dollar and news of slower Chinese growth pressured oil prices which fell about 4.0 percent.

China’s economic growth slowed to 6.9 percent in the third quarter, still ahead of the 6.8 percent forecast.

On the U.S. stockmarket, the energy index .SPNY fell 1.9 percent as U.S. crude oil prices fell 2.9 percent. Exxon XOM.N fell 1.8 percent to $80.99 and Chevron CVX.N fell 1.4 percent to $90.03, the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and the Dow.

“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.

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks 46 key global markets, was last down 0.17 percent, while the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed up 0.21 percent,

U.S. 30-year Treasury yields US30YT=RR rose to a nearly one-week high of 2.91 percent. In futures trading, U.S. gold for December delivery GCv1 was down 0.9 percent at $1,172.80 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Barani Krishnan, and Caroline Valetkevich in New York

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