Richard Drew, Associated Press
NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor's 500 index held close to its record level as investors assessed third-quarter earnings news.
Earnings are the main focus for investors this week as major U.S. companies including McDonald's, Boeing and Procter & Gamble report their results. Rising earnings have been one of the key supports for this year's rally in stocks.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed to an all-time high of 1,744 last Friday after lawmakers in Washington reached a deal earlier in the week to end a 16-day government shutdown and avert a default on the nation's debt.
Stocks will likely continue adding to their gains, at least until the end of the year, as investors get more confident that the market's rally is sustainable, said Joe Bell, a senior equities analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.
"We've had a pretty decent run here," Bell said. "It wouldn't surprise me if we saw the momentum slow a bit through the end of October and then have a nice rally through November and December."
The S&P 500 was down less than a point to 1,743 as of noon Eastern time. The index is up 22 percent so far this year, putting it on track for its best year since 2009.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,388. The Nasdaq composite rose six points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,922.
The results were mixed among companies reporting earnings on Monday.
McDonald's fell 56 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $94.63 after the world's biggest hamburger chain's revenue fell short of Wall Street analyst's expectations.
Hasbro surged after reporting that its net income rose 17 percent as sales increased. Its adjusted results and revenue topped analysts' estimates. The stock climbed $3, or 6 percent, to $50.26.
Companies are expected to grow earnings by 3.4 percent in the July-to-September period, according to the latest data from S&P Capital IQ. As of Friday, about 60 percent of companies reported earnings had beaten analysts' expectations.
"Earnings so far have been excellent," said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. "Earnings are coming in and beating (expectations) by a penny here and there, and we're very comfortable with that."
Company earnings will likely continue to grow as the outlook for the global economy brightens, as Europe continues to recover from its recession and growth in China picks up, said Braakman.
The continued stimulus for the economy from the Federal Reserve should also help support the economy and corporate earnings. The U.S. central bank is currently buying $85 billion of bonds to support the economy.
Homebuilders slumped after Americans bought fewer previously occupied homes in September than the previous month, held back by higher mortgage rates and rising prices. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of re-sold homes fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million.
KB Home fell 77 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $16.43. D.R. Horton dropped 66 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $18.36.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year note edged up to 2.61 percent from 2.58 percent Friday.
In commodities trading, the price of oil dipped below $100 for the first time since July. Oil fell $1.12, or 1.1 percent, to $99.99 a barrel. Gold rose $2.30, or 0.2 percent, to $1,317 an ounce.
Among other stocks making big moves, Tellabs rose 9 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $2.44 after the communications equipment maker agreed to be acquired for $891 million by investment firm Marlin Equity Partners.
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