Market Insider

Traders watch earnings for clues to direction, as Apple looms

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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.