Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shares Edge Higher as Investors Await Earnings

Stock prices held to narrow ranges on Monday as traders at the New York Stock Exchange awaited news on corporate earnings

The New York Times - As companies began releasing fourth-quarter results on Monday, the question on Wall Street was not so much whether businesses turned a profit but how they did so.

Investors are looking for signs that employers moved beyond heavy cost-cutting and established a steady stream of revenue in the last part of 2009. On Monday, traders seemed cautious about that prospect: stocks searched for direction for much of the day, but a late rally pushed most indexes into positive territory. Oil briefly touched a 15-month high and the dollar weakened.

Expectations for fourth-quarter results are high. Over the last year, many employers have slashed work forces and reined in spending to spruce up earnings. Now, investors are looking for substantial revenue growth and indications that global demand is picking up.

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