Stocks Open Lower As Corporate Earnings Loom

By Joseph Adinolfi Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Stocks opened in negative territory on Monday as investors looked ahead to the start of corporate earnings season. The S&P 500 index slipped 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,275, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 37 points, or 0.2%, to 19,925. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index gained four points, or 0.1%, to 5,525. Earnings season kicks off later this week with reports from J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America Corp. . Shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. shot higher in early trade after the company said Sunday it will sell its oncology assets. McDonald's Corp. rose after the company signed a deal to sell a controlling stake in its China unit to an investor group led by one of China's biggest state-owned companies, Citic Ltd.

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