Stocks Opened Lower after German Finmin Comment

U.S. stocks opend lower on Monday, retreating from last week’s rise, as Germany’s finance minister said a forthcoming summit would not yield a definitive solution to Europe’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones

Industrial Average lately shed 87.19 points to 11,557.30. The S&P 500 fell 9.93 points to 1,214.65. The Nasdaq Composite was off 19.10 points at 2,648.75.

Group of 20 finance ministers and central banks concluded weekend talks in Paris endorsing parts of the emerging plan to avoid a Greek default, bolster banks and curb contagion. They set an Oct. 23 summit of European leaders in Brussels as the deadline for it to be delivered.

Factory output rose for a third straight month in September, a sign the economy is growing slowly. The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory output increased 0.4 percent in September after gaining 0.3 percent in August.

Citigroup Inc reported higher third-quarter earnings on Monday as the bank set aside less money to cover bad loans and recorded an accounting gain banks can take in turbulent markets. It reported net income of $3.77 billion, or $1.23 per share, up from $2.17 billion, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Wells Fargo & Co. on Monday said that its third-quarter profit jumped 21 percent, as write offs of bad loans dropped while deposits grew. Its net income rose to $4.06 billion, or 72 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compared with $3.34 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Halliburton’s profit jumped 26 percent in the third-quarter as oil and gas drillers expanded their operations in North America. It reported earnings of $683 million, or 74 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with $544 million, or 60 cents per share for the same period in 2010.

Hasbro Inc. said Monday that its third-quarter profit rose more than 10 percent as international growth and sales of its boys’ toys like Nerf dart blasters helped offset weakness in the U.S. But the results missed expectation. Its net income rose to $171 million, or $1.27 per share. That compares with $155.2 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago.

Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA said Monday it has agreed to buy Texas-based Brigham Exploration Co. for $4.4 billion in cash, giving it control of fields in North Dakota.The offer represents $36.5 per share and is a 36 percent premium over the average trading price of Brigham stock for the last 30 days, Statoil said.

Kinder Morgan plans to buy El Paso Corp. in a $20.7 billion deal that’s expected to create America’s largest natural gas pipeline operator. Kinder Morgan Inc. is expanding its reach as the U.S. becomes increasingly reliant on natural gas.

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