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us-stock-march-NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks edged higher early Friday on mixed corporate earnings and cautiousness ahead of a presidential election in France.

Mattel slumped 8.7 percent as it reported a $113.2 million loss in the first quarter, saying sales were damaged by a glut of toys after the holiday period.

But Honeywell International advanced 2.8 percent as it offered an upbeat outlook.  Analysts also cited cautiousness ahead of Sunday's French vote as a factor in the lackluster trade. Worries that France could elect an anti-eurozone candidate put a lid on the enthusiasm behind Thursday's big US stocks rally.

The French vote is creating "some respectful deference that seems to be holding the market back some," analyst Patrick O'Hare said.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,597.38, up 0.1 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 was up a hair at 2,355.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added less than 0.1 percent at 5,917.15.  General Electric dipped 0.3 percent as it reported $619 million in the first quarter of the year, up from a $61 million loss in the same period a year ago. However, earnings in the oil and gas business were down.

Schlumberger fell 2.5 percent as it reported $6.9 billion in revenues, about $100 million below expectations. The oil services company pointed to an uptick in activity in some operations, but said "continued underinvestment" by oil producers could lead to an oil supply crunch in the medium-term.

Visa rose 1.2 percent after reporting 86 cents per share in adjusted earnings, seven cents above analysts' expectations.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017

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