July 24, 2019 / 3:34 PM / a month ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Downbeat U.S. earnings sour investor optimism; euro slides on soft data

* Boeing, Caterpillar earnings disappoint

* New U.S.-China trade talks expected next week

* MSCI ACWI flat

* Euro hits two-month low on poor PMIs (Updates to U.S. market open, changes dateline, byline)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday as a series of disappointing earnings reports damped investor optimism over the prospect of a new round of U.S.-China trade talks next week, while the euro dropped to a two-month low amid soft economic data.

Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc shares slid after their second-quarter results fell short of analyst expectations. The industrial bellwethers weighed heaviest on the Dow Jones index.

Boeing posted its biggest loss in a decade, owing to the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft, while Caterpillar was hurt by weak China sales in the face of the U.S.-China tariff war.

"The weak earnings numbers reflect weakness in overseas markets," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "Boeing's got its own issues but Caterpillar is a multinational and it should give us pause about the global economy."

Investors had been heartened in recent days by the prospect of a fresh round of U.S.-China trade negotiations next week and expectations the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.99 points, or 0.48%, to 27,219.2, the S&P 500 lost 0.31 points, or 0.01%, to 3,005.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.16 points, or 0.16%, to 8,264.57.

A series of purchasing manager index (PMI) readings in the United States and Europe were weaker than expected, capping gains in equity markets worldwide.

"The PMI data in Europe has been soft for some time," added Ghriskey. "We continue to be concerned, and the (U.S.-China) trade dispute continues to be a real impediment to the growth rate of the global economy."

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.11% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.05%.

PMI data showed euro zone manufacturing contracting for the sixth straight month, dragging the euro to a two-month low against the dollar.

The Canadian dollar continued to rally, threatening an expected uptick in exports and raising the possibility that the Bank of Canada would join its global peers and consider lowering interest rates.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback against six major currencies, fell 0.03%, with the euro down 0.12% to $1.1138.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2486, up 0.40% on the day, after falling for several days as market participants feared a greater risk of a no-deal Brexit under Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.03% versus the greenback at 1.31 per dollar.

U.S. Treasuries yields fell in line with yield declines in European government debt after the downbeat economic data fueled expectations that the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.0515%, from 2.074% late on Tuesday.

The 30-year bond last rose 14/32 in price to yield 2.5864%, from 2.607% late on Tuesday.

Oil prices climbed, boosted by a sharp decline in U.S. crude stocks and simmering tensions in the Middle East.

U.S. crude rose 1.1% to $57.38 per barrel and Brent was last at $64.23, up 0.63% on the day.

Spot gold added 0.4% to $1,423.00 an ounce but remained short of last week's peak of $1,452.60.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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