Stocks headed for a slightly lower open as Wall Street wrestles with a flock of earnings report and a tangle of mixed signals from the corporate world.
Earnings continue to come in largely above expectations, but other factors are waylaying the stock market's recent advances—ranging from Walmart's price cuts to analyst Richard Bove's downgrade of Wells Fargo to rising oil prices.
The weak dollar bears watching once again Thursday, after the euro rose above the psychological $1.50 mark Wednesday.
Corporate profits will nonetheless be a key factor in today's trading once again, as we roll on with a busy week. This morning's earnings roster includes:
Black & Decker; Bristol-Myers; Dow Chemical; EMC Corp.; Fifth Third; Goodrich; Starwood Hotels; Hershey; Kimberly-Clark; McDonald's; 3M; Merck; Occidental Petroleum; Philip Morris; PNC Bank; Ryder System; Reynolds American; Raytheon; Suntrust Banks; AT&T; Travelers; Union Pacific; UPS; Xerox.