Stocks Opened Little Changed, Eyed on Data

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday, with traders keenly anticipating the release of economic data for any signs of softness that would reinforce the pervading view that the Fed is on hold for now. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 6.28 points, or 0.04%, to 17,148.03. The S&P 500 gained 2.65 points, or 0.13%, to 2,026.51. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.50 points, or 0.03%, to 4,868.60.

U.S. industrial production fell for a second straight month in September on renewed weakness in oil and gas drilling. Industrial output slipped 0.2 percent after a revised 0.1 percent dip in August, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

General Electric Co (GE.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, as its businesses producing jet engines and power turbines offset declines in its oil and gas segment. GE reported third-quarter net earnings fell 29 percent from a year earlier to $2.51 billion, or 25 cents per share. Excluding special items, earnings of 29 cents a share exceeded the average estimate of analysts by three cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd offered to buy all of the shares of Youku Tudou Inc that it does not already own in a deal that would value the Chinese video streaming company at about $5.2 billion.

Honeywell International Inc (HON.N), a U.S. manufacturer of aerospace parts and climate control systems, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as costs fell. Honeywell’s expenses fell about 7 percent to $6.65 billion in the third quarter, while operating margins rose to 18.3 percent from 16.2 percent, a year earlier.

Oil prices steadied on Friday, snapping a week-long decline. U.S. crude’s front-month November contract (CLc1) traded 38 cents higher at $46.76 a barrel.

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