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Wall Street points lower ahead of earnings reports

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[April 22, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street signaled the week's back-and-forth will continue Wednesday as investors look to another batch of corporate profit reports for clues about the economy.

Results are due before the opening bell from AT&T Inc., Boeing Co., McDonald's Corp., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co.

Stocks tumbled Monday and recovered about half their losses Tuesday after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reassured investors about the health of banks' balance sheets. But mixed corporate reports have otherwise driven trading.

Geithner is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. at the Economic Club of Washington to discuss the economy.

Ahead of the reports and Geithner's comments, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 50, or 0.6 percent, to 7,873. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 3.70, or 0.4 percent, to 844.00, while Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,322.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.88 percent from 2.90 percent late Tuesday. Bond prices move opposite to yields. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.15 percent from 0.13 percent Tuesday.

Continental Airlines Inc. said early Wednesday that it lost $136 million in the first quarter as traffic fell and business travelers saved money by moving from first-class to the coach cabin.

Yahoo Inc. said after the closing bell Tuesday that it would lay off nearly 700 workers. The company's earnings fell 78 percent to $118 million for the first three months of the year.

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In other trading, the dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Light, sweet crude rose 31 cents to $48.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.18 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.7 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.5 percent.

[Associated Press; By TIM PARADIS]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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