* Morgan Stanley up more than 5 pct after results
* Weak outlook weighs on Intel, down 6 pct
* China economic growth beats expectations
* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.2 pct
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, Jan 18 U.S. stocks opened little
changed on Friday, a day after the S&P 500 rose to its highest
level in five years, as a weak outlook from Intel offset a
fourth-quarter profit at Morgan Stanley.
Shares of Intel Corp slumped 6.1 percent to $21.30
after the tech company forecast quarterly revenue that was below
analysts' estimates and hiked capital spending plans for the
That was offset somewhat by a 5-percent gain in shares of
Morgan Stanley, which reported a fourth-quarter profit
after a year-earlier loss, helped by higher revenue at the
bank's institutional securities business. Its stock jumped 5.3
percent to $22.84.
The earnings season so far has been mixed, but that could
change with a barrage of releases scheduled for next week, said
Doug Cote, chief market strategist, ING Investment Management in
"There were some good reports but the real big bellwether
companies are not coming in strong," said Cote.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 8.02
points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,604.04. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index slipped 1.20 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,479.74.
The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7.52 points, or 0.24
percent, to 3,128.48.
Overall, S&P 500 company earnings are expected to have risen
2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Expectations for the quarter have dropped considerably since
October, when a 9.9 percent gain was estimated.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose to its highest since late
2007, and that could prompt investors to lock in recent gains,
Economic data out of China provided some support to the
market, though the focus remained on U.S. corporate earnings.
The country's economy grew at a modestly faster-than-expected
7.9 percent in the fourth quarter, the latest sign the world's
second-biggest economy was pulling out of a post-global
financial crisis slowdown which saw it grow in 2012 at its
weakest pace since 1999.
General Electric reported a better-than-expected rise
in earnings on Friday, spurred by robust demand in China and
oil-producing countries. Shares were up 2.4 percent to $21.82.
Despite the gains in Morgan Stanley, financial stocks sagged
as Capital One Financial reported disappointing profit.
Capital One slumped 7.4 percent to $57.06, while the KBW bank
index slipped 0.4 percent.
Research In Motion climbed 4.7 percent to
$15.61 after Jefferies Group boosted the BlackBerry maker's
rating and price target.