US Stocks Mixed in Afternoon Trade

(AP) -- U.S. stocks wavered between small gains and losses in afternoon trading Monday as investors considered company earnings news and a slowdown in China's growth. Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners as the price of oil declined.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,202 as of 1:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,030. The Nasdaq composite added eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,895. The market is coming off its third straight week of gains.

THE QUOTE: Sameer Samana, global quantitative strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, noted that the S&P 500 index is up nearly 9 percent from its August low. "Now people are probably taking some profits and trying to figure out what the catalyst is to take us higher from here," he said.

SECTOR VIEW: Six of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 declined, with energy stocks falling the most, 1.9 percent. The sector is down about 15 percent this year. Consumer discretionary stocks led among the gainers.

COMMODITIES' EFFECT: Lower commodity prices helped pull down shares in oil companies and materials makers. Exxon Mobil and Chevron were the biggest decliners in the Dow. Exxon Mobil shed $1.41, or 1.7 percent, to $81.07, while Chevron slid $1.82, or 2 percent, to $89.47. Mining company Freeport-McMoRan gave up 54 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $11.90.

ROUGH QUARTER: Morgan Stanley slumped 5.6 percent after reporting a sharp drop in quarterly earnings as the bank's bond trading business weakened. The stock fell $1.89 to $32.07.

BIG CHANGES: Shares in Deutsche Bank AG rose 3.7 percent a day after Germany's biggest bank said it is restructuring its divisions and making changes to its management structure in an effort to streamline its business. The stock gained 96 cents to $26.93.

OPRAH WEIGHS IN: Weight Watchers surged 98.5 percent on news that Oprah Winfrey is paying about $43.2 million for a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers and is joining the weight management company's board. Winfrey also agreed to endorse the company's programs and services, and to help promote the company. Weight Watchers' shares climbed $6.69 to $13.48.

UPPING THE BID: PMC-Sierra climbed 13.7 percent on news that Microsemi has offered to buy the semiconductors company for about $2.4 billion, topping a bid from Skyworks Solutions. PMC-Sierra rose $1.40 to $11.64.

BUILDING CONFIDENCE: Homebuilder stocks got a boost from an industry survey indicating that optimism among builders remains at levels last seen during the high-flying days of the housing boom a decade ago. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index also showed builders' outlook for sales into next year surged sharply. UCP led the sector, gaining 38 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $7.60.

CHINA GROWTH: Data released Monday showed that China's economic growth decelerated in the latest quarter but relatively robust spending by Chinese consumers helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, down from the previous quarter's 7 percent and the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis. Growth of 6.8 percent had been forecast by analysts.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.03 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 inched down 0.4 percent. In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite Index lost an early gain to end down 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended little changed. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.26, or 2.6 percent, to $46.46 a barrel in New York.

BONDS & CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.04 percent. The dollar edged up to 119.45 yen and the euro fell to $1.1321.

(BAS)