Market Insider

Traders watch earnings for clues to direction, as Apple looms

The CAT, AAPL effect

Stocks found their footing early Monday, but selling returned as traders fretted over emerging markets and awaited Apple's after-the-bell earnings

Caterpillar's early morning earnings beat was a boost to sentiment and lifted its shares ahead of the big report of the day: Apple.

Stocks were weaker Monday afternoon, after opening higher. But the selling was nothing like the two-day selling spree last week that was triggered mainly by worries that slowing growth in China.

Data showing contraction in Chinese manufacturing activity last week sparked fears that a slowdown would spread to the rest of the world, at a time when some emerging markets are already having problems.