Stocks edge down at the start of big earnings week


NEW YORK — Stock prices are edging lower on Wall Street at the start of a big week for company earnings.

About a third of the companies in the S&P 500, including Exxon Mobil and Apple, are reporting earnings this week. Analysts expect earnings to rise by 2 percent in the first quarter, down from the 7.7 percent increase in the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points at 14,493 as of noon today.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was off one point at 1,554.

Hasbro and Halliburton rose after reporting results that were better than analysts were expecting.

Stocks are coming off a tough week. Last week both the S&P 500 and the Dow lost 2.1 percent, the biggest weekly drops since last November.