NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday as investors focused on the latest earnings reports for the third quarter.
Bank of America rose 2 percent after its results beat analysts' estimates. The bank's legal costs declined in the quarter. Chipmaker Intel fell 4 percent after reporting earnings and revenue that fell slightly. The company is grappling with declining demand for personal computers.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,008, as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,106. The Nasdaq composite gained 23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,820.
MIXED BANK BAG: Investors were assessing the earnings of three big banks on Wednesday. While Bank of America gained after reporting earnings, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo declined. JPMorgan said late Tuesday that its profit climbed 22 percent, but its earnings still fell short of analysts' estimates.
JPMorgan's stock fell $1.35, or 2.2 percent, to $60.19. Wells Fargo reported a slight gain in profits for the quarter, but its lending margins fell in the quarter. Wells Fargo edged down 42 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $51.45. Bank of America rose 35 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $15.86.
EUROPE'S DAY: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.6 percent. Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent and in France the CAC-40 was 0.2 percent higher.
CHINA DATA: Data showed Chinese inflation eased in September, stoking expectations that Beijing would have more leeway for interest rate cuts or other measures to boost economic growth. Consumer prices rose 1.6 percent over the same month year earlier, down from 2 percent in August.
ASIA'S DAY: Asian stocks closed lower for a second day. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 1.9 percent, South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.5 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China finished 0.9 percent lower.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 16 cents to $46.50 a barrel on New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 4 cents to $49.65 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.02 percent. The euro rose to $1.1424 while the dollar slipped to 119.44 yen.