The markets are mixed in mid-morning trading on Friday, as individual stocks are being driven by their respective earnings reports, while the overall market is lacking direction amid a light day on the economic front.
The major averages have seen choppy movement in recent dealing, remaining near the unchanged mark. The Dow is down 17.34 points or 0.2 percent at 11,129.23, the Nasdaq is up by 6.18 points or 0.3 percent at 2,465.88 and the S&P 500 is up by 0.87 points or 0.1 percent at 1,181.13.
In earnings news, Honeywell International Inc.'s (HON) third-quarter earnings were $0.64 per share, topping estimates for $0.63 for the quarter. Sales were up 9 percent to $8.39 billion, also exceeding forecasts which called for revenues of $8.22 billion.
Honeywell now forecasts 2010 sales of about $33 billion and earnings of around $2.52 per share, while analysts project full-year revenues of $32.82 billion and earnings per share of $2.53.
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) reported adjusted third-quarter net income was $0.56 per share on revenues of $26.48 billion, topping both EPS expectations for $0.54 and revenue projections for $26.34 billion for the quarter.
Swedish telecom equipment maker LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (ERIC) reported a more than four-fold rise in its third-quarter profit, driven by higher networks sales, earnings from the Sony Ericsson joint venture and lower restructuring costs.
After the closing bell on Thursday, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said that its third-quarter profit increased by 16 percent over last year. Quarterly earnings came in ahead of analyst expectations, as did net sales. Looking ahead, the company forecast revenue outlook for the fourth quarter in-line with the Street consensus.
American Express Co. (AXP) reported a 70 percent increase in third quarter profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates, helped essentially by increased cardmember spending. Revenues for the quarter rose 17 percent from a year ago, coming in ahead of expectations.
Chinese internet search provider Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) said its profit more than doubled in the third quarter, helped essentially by robust growth in online marketing revenue. Looking ahead, Baidu provided its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter, which is expected to come in above Wall Street estimates.
Oil service stocks are seeing notable gains early on following upbeat quarterly results from Schlumberger (SLB). The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index is up by 1.6 percent but remains rangebound.
Within the sector, Schlumberger is up by 4.8 percent and is on pace for its best closing price in five and a half months.
Networking, semiconductor and software stocks are also higher along with healthcare insurance and provider stocks, while moderate weakness is visible among gold and defense stocks.
Stocks Driven By Analyst Comments
Machinery fluid specialist Graco (GGG) is higher after being upgraded at BB&T Capital Markets from Hold to Buy. Shares are currently up by 2.1 percent and on pace for their best closing price in nearly six months.
Penn National Gaming (PENN) is also higher following an upgrade at Jefferies from Hold to Buy. The broker also raised the target on the stock from $30 to $41. The stock is posting a gain of 2.7 percent, setting its best intraday price in fifteen months.
Meanwhile, foreign utilities firm Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (SBS) is lower after being downgraded by Brean Murray from Buy to Hold. Shares are currently down by 1.6 percent, extending its pullback from the more than two-year closing high set earlier this month.
Overseas, stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region ended on a mixed note on Friday. Japan'sbenchmark Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.5 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid by 0.6 percent.
The major European markets are modestly lower. The French CAC 40 Index and the German DAXIndex are both down by 0.1 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.3 percent.
In the bond markets, treasuries are down but off of their worst levels. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is trading at 2.560 percent, posting a gain of 2.9 basis points.