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NEW YORK: US stocks treaded water at the open Monday, starting the week in neutral ahead of the flood of quarterly earnings releases.

Last week, solid bank earnings and comparatively dovish commentary from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen helped send Wall Street to fresh records on consecutive days.

About 10 minutes into the day's trading, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and broader S&P 500 were essentially flat at 21,634.06 and 2,459.00, respectively.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up less than a tenth of a percentage point at 6,315.98.

"True to form, the stock market shrugged off Friday's disappointing economic data, choosing instead to focus on the prospect of the Fed holding off on a rate hike," said Patrick O'Hare of

Official figures released Friday showed inflation was flat and retail sales fell for the second straight month -- likely cheering investors who now see an interest rate hike by the Fed as a little less likely in the near future.

Meanwhile, analysts say quarterly corporate earnings growth has been 6.8 percent so far, up from 6.6 percent on June 30.

Major firms due to report earnings ahead of Tuesday's open include financials Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, which were down Monday 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Healthcare giants Johnson & Johnson, due to report this week, was up less than a tenth, but UnitedHealth, which will also post earnings, fell 0.1 percent.

Netflix, which is due to report earnings following Monday's close, was up 0.8 percent.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017




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