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Markets indexes waver in early trading as more US companies turn in earnings reports

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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wavering in early trading more big companies turn in earnings reports. Markets in Asia surged on optimism over recent reforms in China.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,012 as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, less than 0.1 percent, to 2,102, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,013.

GOING UP: United Technologies rose after posting quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates, helped by more orders for its Otis elevators. The company's stock gained $1.33, or 1 percent, to $117.79.

CLEANING UP: Kimberly-Clark, a maker of Huggies diapers and paper products, gained 4 percent in early trading after reporting income and revenue that easily beat analysts' forecasts. Its stock surged $4 to $111.36.

GENERIC DEALS: Teva Pharmaceuticals proposed buying Mylan NV, another maker of generic drugs, for more than $40 billion in cash and stock. The offer depends on Mylan dropping its proposed acquisition of yet another drugmaker, Perrigo. Mylan's stock jumped $5.58, or 8 percent, to $73.65. Teva's rose $2.36, or 4 percent, to $65.64.

HOGS: Harley-Davidson turned in sales that fell short of analysts' targets, and the motorcycle maker also cut its full-year forecast for shipments, blaming price cuts by its rivals. The company's stock fell $5.26, or 9 percent, to $56.50.

OVER THERE: Major markets in Europe continued their recent climb. Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent, while France's CAC-40 climbed 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.3 percent.

HK BOUNCE: Hong Kong stocks rebounded as investors shook off initial pessimism over mainland Chinese regulatory changes for stock investors and monetary loosening announced over the weekend. Mainland investors seeking attractively priced stocks have been piling into the Hong Kong market, which has underperformed compared with Shanghai over the past year. On Sunday, the central bank slashed the required reserve ratio for banks by 1 percentage point to stimulate lending. Separately, the stock regulator said Saturday that new measures to tighten some margin financing and encourage short selling were not meant as a crackdown.

MARKET VIEW: Chinese authorities are using the new measures, especially the reserve ratio cut, to "encourage a longer, steadier rally," said Andrew Sullivan of Haitong Securities.

ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng led a surge in Asian markets, jumping 2.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China added 1.8 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.1 percent.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil rose 23 cents to $56.61 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, an international benchmark, fell 39 cents to $63.05.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Government bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.90 percent. The euro slipped to $1.0699 from $1.0741. The dollar rose to 119.68 yen from 119.31 yen.


AP Business Writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this story from Hong Kong.

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