US stocks are mixed on Friday on some positive earnings reports but economic worries remain.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 24 points, or 0.19%, at 12352, after earlier gaining on robust quarterly earnings reports from components Microsoft, Caterpillar and Honeywell International of the 30 company measure.
The Standard & Poor's 500 is down 0.31%, or 4 points, at 1348 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1 points, at 2368.
Microsoft had reported a 79% rise in second-quarter profit and raised its fiscal-year outlook after the close of trading on Thursday while Honeywell reported that fourth-quarter net income rose 18%. Its shares of Honeywell were up 5.59%.
Shares of construction machinery company Caterpillar rose 1.7% after it reported that fourth-quarter net income gained 11% boosted by strong growth overseas, and it reconfirmed its outlook for further growth in 2008, even as it said recessionary conditions in the US will persist.
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European stocks gave up earlier gains Friday and the Dow Jones 600 closed up 0.05%. The FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 all closed marginally down and in Dublin, the ISEQ fell 0.78%.
Financial stocks such as Fortis, Belgium's largest financial-services company, fell 10.2%.
Bloomberg reports that banks that raised $72 billion to shore up capital depleted by subprime-related losses may require another $143 billion should credit rating firms downgrade bond insurers, according to analysts at Barclays Capital.
Banks will need at least $22 billion if bonds covered by insurers led by MBIA Inc. and Ambac Assurance Corp. are cut one level from AAA, and six times more for downgrades by four steps to A, Paul Fenner-Leitao wrote in a report published today. Barclays' estimates are based on banks holding as much as 75% of the $820 billion of structured securities
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Crude oil for March delivery is trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) at $90.74 per barrel - up $1.53 overnight.