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Wall Street Poised For Cautious Start Amid Mixed Earnings

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The mood on Wall Street is likely to be a cautious Wednesday morning, with investors weighing reports about China looking to slow down monetary easing and data that showed Germany's business confidence fell to a 3-year low in April.

Activity is likely to be stock specific with traders reacting to the latest batch of corporate earnings reports.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) said its profit totaled $1.88 billion, or $3.25 per share in the first quarter, compared with $1.66 billion, or $2.74 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Meanwhile, results of The Boeing Co. (BA) fell short of expectations. Boeing reported earnings of $2.15 billion, or $3.75 per share in the first quarter, as against $2.48 billion, or $4.15 per share in the corresponding quarter last year.

After recording solid gains on two successive sessions after the U.S. announced its decision to end waiver on sanction against importers of Iranian oil, crude oil prices eased today after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a 6.9 million barrels jump in crude oil inventories in the week to April 19.

On the trade front, U.S.-China trade talks are scheduled to resume next week in Beijing. According to reports, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing on Tuesday, April 30.

Stocks ended mostly higher on Tuesday, reflecting a positive reaction to upbeat earnings news from several big-name companies, including United Technologies (UTX) and Coca-Cola), and data showing an unexpected jump in new home sales in the month of March.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the session at record closing highs, gaining 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively. The Dow ended up by 0.6%.

Asian markets ended mixed on Wednesday, while European stocks were exhibiting weakness after recent gains.

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