* U.S./European stocks up slightly
* Pound unmoved after EU sets Oct. Brexit deadline
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Updates prices after U.S. open, recasts throughout; changes dateline; previous LONDON)
By Sinéad Carew
NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) - Stocks on Wall Street and in Europe clung to small gains on Thursday as investors waited for first-quarter earnings reports while U.S. Treasury yields rose after strong U.S. data and a six-month extension of Britain’s deadline to leave the European Union.
The dollar index also rose as worries about the world’s largest economy eased after U.S. data showed March producer prices increased by the most in five months and weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest since 1969.
The data followed a decision by EU leaders to push the Brexit deadline to Oct. 31 so that Britain would not crash out of the bloc on Friday without a treaty - though it offered scant clarity on when, how or if Brexit will happen.
But gains were muted as U.S. investors awaited the first-quarter earnings season, which starts in earnest on Friday with reports from big banks. First-quarter profit estimates have dropped steadily in the last six months, with S&P 500 earnings expected to fall 2.5% and mark the first year-on-year decline since 2016, according to Refinitiv data.
“The big elephant out there is earnings. Street estimates are for a year-over-year decline despite higher revenue and that’s driven by a handful of large companies that are heavily weighted, so it could be a bit deceiving,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
“Often the market will just wait it out when we start to get close to earnings.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.08 points, or 0.15%, to 26,195.24, the S&P 500 gained 2.84 points, or 0.10%, to 2,891.05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.32 points, or 0.04%, to 7,960.93.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.11%, but MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.03%.
U.S.-China trade negotiations were to continue on Thursday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that the two countries largely agreed on a mechanism to police any trade agreement they reach, including establishing new “enforcement offices.”
In currency trading, the dollar index rose 0.09%, with the euro down 0.01% to $1.1272.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.40% versus the greenback at 111.47 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3082, down 0.05% on the day, suggesting fears remain about where Brexit is headed.
While British Prime Minister Theresa May defended her decision to delay Brexit and seek a compromise exit plan, one angry lawmaker stood up in Parliament on Thursday and asked her to resign.
“They keep kicking the can down the road. There’s real confusion there,” said Ghriskey. “It doesn’t solve anything.”
In the fixed income market, U.S. Treasury benchmark 10-year notes last fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.4952%, from 2.477% late on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, rising U.S. crude stocks dragged oil lower but prices continued to find a floor as OPEC-led cuts and free-falling Venezuelan output tightened global supplies.
U.S. crude fell 1.35% to $63.74 per barrel. Brent was down 0.7% at $71.24. (Additional reporting by Kate Duguid and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York, and Tom Wilson in London; editing by Larry King and Dan Grebler)