US stocks mixed as investors assess earnings, deal news; Twitter climbs on cost-cutting

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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are mixed on Tuesday as investors assess the latest deal news and company earnings reports. Twitter rose after announcing that it would lay off staff as it strives to turn a profit. Ryder System, a transportation company, fell sharply after lowering its profit forecast for the third quarter.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell one point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,016 as of 12:12 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained two points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,133. The Nasdaq composite was little changed at 4,840.

SLOW RYDER: Ryder System was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 after the company cut its earnings forecast for the third quarter. The trucking and logistics company blamed lower-than-forecast growth at a unit that provides services to companies that own and operate truck fleets. Its stock dropped $3.26, or 9 percent, to $69.39.

FEWER CHARACTERS: Twitter's stock rose $1.38, or 4.8 percent, to $30.12 after the company announced that it was laying off about 8 percent of its workforce, signaling CEO Jack Dorsey's resolve to slash costs while the company struggles to make money. The social media company has not turned a profit in its nine-year history.

BEER BUZZ: SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, jumped 9 percent in London after the company accepted a takeover bid by AB InBev, the world's largest beer maker. The U.S.-listed stock of AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, rose $2.31, or 2.1 percent, to $113.80.

Molson Coors, the owner of Coors, surged $8.17, or 10 percent, to $86.79. If AB InBev completes the deal to buy SABMiller, Molson Coors may get the opportunity to buy full ownership of its MillerCoors joint venture, which sells beers including Miller Lite, Coors Light and Blue Moon in the U.S.

THE QUOTE: U.S. stocks have started October with strong gains, as investors speculate that the Federal Reserve will hold off from raising interest rates amid signs that the global economy remains week. The market is rebounding after a big slump in the previous two months.

Investors will be watching corporate earnings this week as they try to assess the impact that slowing global growth is having on company profits. Companies that are focused on the U.S. are likely to do well, as consumer confidence improves, said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust.

"It's been a rally here and the question is: 'Is this just a bounce?' " Braakman said. "The earnings season will help us a little with that. Looking at the consumer numbers here in the U.S., they are still very strong."

CHINA WEAKNESS: China's imports fell in September by an unexpectedly wide margin of 20.4 percent from a year ago in a new sign of weakness in the country's economy. Customs data showed Chinese purchases of foreign goods worsened from August's 5.5 percent decline. The drop indicates anemic demand despite repeated stimulus efforts aimed at reversing a decline in economic growth. Sales of Chinese goods to foreign markets fell 3.7 percent, an improvement from the previous month's 13.8 percent contraction.

EUROPE'S DAY: Stocks fell in Europe. Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent and Germany's DAX slid 0.9 percent. France's CAC 40 dropped 1 percent.

ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1 percent. China's Shanghai composite index finished 0.2 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.6 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 68 cents to $47.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BOND AND CURRENCIES: Government bond prices rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 2.06 percent. The euro strengthened to $1.1387, while the dollar weakened to 119.81 yen.

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