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Mixed open on Wall Street; bank stocks rise

Friday - 7/12/2013, 12:06pm  ET

Trader Edward Curran, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, July 10, 2013. World stock markets eked out moderate gains Friday, July 12, 2013 building on a rally sparked by the Fed's vow to continue supporting the U.S. economy, as investors awaited the latest growth figures from China. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

JOSHUA FREED
AP Business Writer

The stock market rally that led to record highs on Thursday has stalled.

Major U.S. indexes were little changed in early trading Friday.

Earnings news was mixed. Profits at big banks Wells Fargo and JP Morgan came in better than expected, and that helped bank stocks. But UPS cut its profit outlook and said it's seeing a slowdown in U.S. industry.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 19 points at 15,481 at 10:30 a.m. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 1,675. Both indexes closed at all-time highs on Thursday.

The Nasdaq composite edged up six points to 3,585.

United Parcel Service sank $4.67, or 5.1 percent, to $86.78 after saying its second-quarter and full-year earnings will be less than analysts have been expecting because the company's customers are using cheaper shipping options. UPS also said it's seeing a slowdown in U.S. industry -- something likely to concern investors outside of the transportation sector.

Cost-cutting boosted profits at Wells Fargo, and its stock rose 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, $42.58. JPMorgan Chase reported a 32 percent jump in profits. Its stock rose 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $55.44.

Anthony Conroy, managing director and head trader for BNY ConvergEx Group, said JPMorgan's credit numbers were strong. "That means the consumer's out there spending and borrowing and propping up the whole economy, and that's a good thing," he said.

Conroy thinks it's likely that stocks will move higher, as long as second-quarter earnings reports at least match the low expectations that investors have. "The three most important things in the next couple of weeks are earnings, earnings, and earnings," he said.

Other stocks with notable moves included:

-- Gap rose 54 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $45.30. Three analysts lifted their price targets after Gap posted revenue at stores open at least a year that was better than the market was expecting.

-- WebMD jumped $7.09, or 27 percent, to $34.19 after the medical website operator sharply raised its forecast for its second-quarter results, citing strong demand from advertisers.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.54 percent from 2.57 percent.

A measure of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan came in lower than expected for this month.

Markets elsewhere were mixed. In Europe, Britain's FTSE-100 rose 0.2 percent, and Germany's DAX index was up 0.6 percent. The CAC-40 in France posted a slight decline. The Nikkei in Japan rose slightly, while stocks in Korea and China fell.

The price of crude oil rose 26 cents to $105.17 per barrel in the U.S. Other energy prices also rose. Gold slipped 40 cents to $1,279.


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