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Stocks edge higher as big earnings week kicks off

Steve Rothwell, Markets Writer

FILE - In this April 20, 2009 file photo, a McDonald's restaurant sign is illuminated in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. On Monday, July 22, 2013, McDonald's reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also said July sales are expected to be relatively flat and warned of a tough year ahead. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market edged higher as a big week of earnings kicked off Monday.

The results from a handful of large U.S. companies were mixed. McDonald's had a rough quarter, hurt by weaker global sales. Hasbro extended a merchandise deal with Disney, although the toy maker's second-quarter sales fell.

The world's biggest hamburger chain reported a profit that fell short of financial analysts' estimates. McDonalds expects flat sales in July and warned of a tough year ahead. The company's stock fell $2.97, or 3 percent, to $97.30 at 10:07 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose less than a point to 1,692. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points to 15,530. The Nasdaq composite rose three points 3,590.

The price of gold climbed above $1,300 for the first time in a month and that helped mining companies. Newmont Mining rose $1.20, or 4.2 percent, to $29.88. Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold gained 32 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $28.88.

The stock market has surged in July after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured investors that the U.S. central bank would not start to pull back on its stimulus before the economy was strong enough. The Fed is buying $85 billion of bonds to keep long-term interest rates low and to encourage spending.

The S&P 500 has gained 5.3 percent in July, putting it on track for it best month since October 2011, when the index surged 10.8 percent.

Small company stocks have fared even better. The Russell 2000 closed above 1,000 for the first time July 5 and is up 7.5 percent for the month. That signals that investors have become more comfortable buying riskier assets.

In commodities trading, the price of oil rose 47 cents, or 0.43 percent, to $108.30 a barrel.

Gold gained $27.70, or 2.15 percent, to $1,320.90 an ounce.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from Friday at 2.48 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves.

— Hasbro Inc.'s stock rose 77 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $46.15. The nation's second biggest toy maker said Monday that it is expanding its merchandising relationship with The Walt Disney Co. for properties including Marvel and Star Wars