US stocks open mixed on middling earnings

US stocks opened mixed Thursday as the market sought direction from earnings reports.

Facebook fell nearly more than three percent after its disappointing earnings, while Reseach in Motion, the Blackberry maker, lost 7.9 percent after introducing its new operating system and handsets.

About an hour into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11.80 (0.08 percent) to 13,922.22.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.38 points (0.03 percent) to 1,501.58.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 8.52 (0.27 percent) to 3,150.83.

The market continued under the shadow of the official report Wednesday that showed the US economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter last year.

Trade was heavy in social networking giant Facebook, which reported a big fall in year-over-year earnings and signalled higher costs as it invests in data centers. Facebook shares were down 3.4 percent.

Dow Chemical fell 5.9 percent after reporting a loss in the final quarter of the year that it partly attributed to weak results in China.

But the company's chief executive told CNBC that the outlook in the large market is improving.

Package delivery and transport firm UPS gave up 1.4 percent after reporting a $1.7 billion loss in the fourth quarter due to heavy charges related to pension costs.

Chief executive Scott Davis pledged "consistent results" in 2013 despite "modest macro growth expectations."

Consumer product manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive dropped 3.1 percent despite reporting a 1.4 percent gain in fourth quarter profits.

Oil company ConocoPhillips sank 5 percent after net income fell by a large amount following the spin-off of its refining division and the resulting shrinkage of the company.

Time Warner Cable gave up 7.2 percent after reporting a drop in quarterly earnings.

On the positive side, media company Viacom rose 0.7 percent after it doubled quarterly profits despite lower revenues in film and television advertising.

Hospitality company Las Vegas Sands picked up 6.3 percent after reporting better-than-expected revenue and signalling that its Macao property reported record financial results.

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury slipped to 2.0 percent from 2.01 percent late Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 3.19 percent from 3.20 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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