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Stocks Edge Higher as Focus Shifts to Earnings

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Markets may have just ended their best week of the year, but the start to this week appeared to be in wait-and-see mode.

Stock moves had little energy on Monday as investors waited for a busy earnings week to kick into high gear. Key reports from the likes of JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report) and Intel (INTC - Get Report) won't be released until Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was up 0.12%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.28%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.17%. Benchmark indexes dipped above and below the flat line over the session.

Analysts expect S&P 500 companies to report a 4.8% decline in third-quarter earnings and 3.6% drop in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. Continued strength in the U.S. dollar and crude oil near 2015 lows are expected to have been the main challenge to growth over the three-month period.

"Absent an unexpected improvement in earnings, or at least more positive guidance for the fourth quarter, the rally in U.S. equities is likely to be contained," Russ Koesterich, managing director and global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, wrote...


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