U.S. Stocks Open to the Downside

Updated from 9:20 a.m. EDT

Stocks in New York staged a moderately downbeat open Friday, as traders tackled another round of earnings releases and a fresh set of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 13 points at 9168, and the S&P 500 was shedding 3.7 points to 950. The Nasdaq gave back 16 points to 1683.

On Thursday, the major averages ended a choppy day with gains following the release of a better-than-expected third-quarter GDP number.

Corporate earnings releases were again in focus. Energy company Chevron ( CVX) reported rising profit thanks to high oil prices.

Meanwhile, fast-food restaurant operator Burger King ( BKC) announced income that rose slightly year over year and reaffirmed its forward outlook. Cleaning-products maker Clorox ( CLX) likewise saw a slight rise in earnings for the quarter and affirmed its profit guidance, although it tempered its revenue expectations.

NYSE Euronext ( NYX) reported a 33% year-over-year decrease in profits for the third quarter, but met the Street's expectations.

Elsewhere in the financial sector, British bank Barclays ( BCS) announced plans to raise $11.8 billion from the private sector, thus avoiding participation in the U.K.'s bank-bailout plan.

As for the automakers, Ford ( F) announced it would bring 1,000 workers back to a truck plant in anticipation of high demand for one of its new trucks.

In other automotive news, Nissan ( NSANY) reported a decline in quarterly profit and guided lower for the remainder of the year.

Reuters also reported that talks of a merger between General Motors ( GM) and Chrysler are being pushed back as the Bush administration refused to fund a deal.

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