Stocks slip as first big week of earnings heads to a finish

DAMIAN J. TROISE

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slipping in early trading on Wall Street Friday, weighed down by losses in technology companies. The market is still on track for its second weekly gain after three straight losing weeks.

Investors are also absorbing the latest economic data showing that growth in China sank to a new multi-decade low.

Some stocks rose following solid earnings reports. ETrade climbed 4.7% after reporting surprisingly good third-quarter profit. Oilfield services company Schlumberger rose 3% and lifted energy stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10:24 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 93 points, or 0.3%, to 26,932. The Nasdaq lost 0.5%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks fell 0.4%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.75%.

WINNING WEEK: The market has been choppy all week as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate earnings. Stocks are still higher for the week thanks to a big gain on Tuesday, when several major banks released impressive results, including JPMorgan Chase.

The S&P 500 is on track for a 0.8% gain this week following last week's 0.6% rise.

Smaller stocks are once again set to outpace the broader market in a sign that investors are growing more confident. The Russell 2000 is on track for a 1.7% gain this week after rising 0.8% last week.

OVERSEAS: Markets in Asia fell. China's economic growth sank to a 26-year low in the latest quarter and shoved the Shanghai Composite index 1.3% lower. The world's second-largest economy is dealing with a slowdown in consumer demand and economic growth brought on partly by the damaging trade war with the U.S.

European markets were flat. Britain's Parliament is preparing for a vote on the latest proposed deal covering its exit from the European Union. Britain is set to leave the trading block on Oct. 31. The vote is expected to take place at a rare sitting of Parliament on Saturday.

EARNINGS: Investors mostly applauded the opening round of company earnings this week and temporarily brushed aside worries over the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Health insurer UnitedHealth Group reported solid earnings, as did Netflix.

The early round of mostly good results could help calm investors' fears about another dismal forecast for earnings growth. Analysts expect profit to contract by nearly 5% for companies within the S&P 500, according to FactSet. But, forecasts for declines in the first and second quarters were tempered as reporting progressed and companies finished those earnings seasons with tiny contractions instead.

SATISFYING SODA: Coca-Cola rose 1.6% after the company edged out Wall Street's third-quarter revenue forecasts on improved sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and other drinks.