NEW YORK, April 21 ― Wall Street stocks edged higher early today on mixed corporate earnings and cautiousness ahead of a presidential election in France.
Mattel slumped 8.7 per cent as it reported a US$113.2 million (RM497.8 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 per cent 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 yesterday’s big US stocks rally.
The French vote is creating “some respectful deference that seems to be holding the market back some,” Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said.
About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,597.38, up 0.1 per cent.
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 per cent at 5,917.15.
General Electric dipped 0.3 per cent as it reported US$619 million in the first quarter of the year, up from a US$61 million loss in the same period a year ago. However, earnings in the oil and gas business were down.
Schlumberger fell 2.5 per cent as it reported US$6.9 billion in revenues, about US$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 per cent after reporting 86 cents per share in adjusted earnings, seven cents above analysts’ expectations. ― Bernama