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Stocks retreat on data, earnings news

Wall Street opened down slightly this morning following earnings news and other data.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down three-tenths of 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is down four-tenths of 1 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down about half of that.

The government said this morning that producer prices were down in September and housing starts were up, but far less than expected.

In earnings news, which we'll dive into later, Caterpillar said third-quarter earnings dropped 53 percent, but the company said it anticipates a turnaround in 2010.

So far this quarter, about 80 percent of companies reporting have beaten profit estimates.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  October 20, 2009; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Caterpillar, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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