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Market Waits For Election; Earnings Disappoint

Hasbro, the toymaker behind brands like My Little Pony and Transformers, said that sales for boys' products and preschool toys weakened. The stock slipped 66 cents to $38.39.

Clothing maker VF Corp., whose brands include Timberland and Wrangler, missed analysts' revenue estimates. The stock slid $7.31, hitting $159.46.

SunTrust Banks also slipped. Its third-quarter earnings jumped, but that was largely because the bank sold shares it owned in Coca-Cola. The Atlanta-based bank wrestled with higher expenses as well as low interest rates, which can crimp the profit banks make from lending out money. The stock lost 96 cents to $27.67.

Shares for Caterpillar, the world's largest construction and mining equipment company, gained $1.22 to $85.08. But the company warned that it expects lower profit and revenue for the rest of the year.

Last week, Microsoft, General Electric and McDonald's also reported third-quarter results that disappointed the market.

To be fair, most companies are reporting better-than-expected profits. But investors want to know how companies are faring on revenue. Revenue can give a more accurate picture of how a company is performing, because profits can vary widely on items like accounting charges and cost-cutting.

Katz described companies' third-quarter revenue results as "fair" and said the U.S. economy is "slow and steady."

"It is at a snail's pace," he said. "But it's certainly better than what we had."

Of the roughly 100 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported third-quarter results as of last week, 70 percent have beat analysts' estimates for profits, according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet. But only 42 percent have beat estimates for revenue. That's the lowest since the first quarter of 2009, when the stock market hit its Great Recession lows.

Company profits so far this quarter are down 2.3 percent compared to a year ago. Revenue is down an average of 0.6 percent.

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