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Snapshot: Cautious investors await news on profits

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Investors remained cautious at the start of a big week in which a third of S&P 500 companies will report profits. Analysts expect quarterly earnings to rise 2% overall, down from a 7.7% rise last quarter, S&P Capital IQ says. The Dow edged higher as energy stocks got a lift from recovering oil prices and investors focused on results from a key industry player, the oil services company Halliburton. Its report wasn’t as bad as forecast. It lost $18 million, pulled down by $637 million in charges for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The market was coming off its biggest weekly drop since November. Last week, the S&P 500 and Dow each lost 2.1%.

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