Tesla surges, Twitter slumps amid US earnings deluge

 Tesla super chargers are shown in Mojave, California, US. (Reuters Photo)

Wall Street was mixed early Thursday amid optimism over US-China trade talks and as Tesla surged on positive earnings, while Twitter plunged on disappointing results.

Analysts cited reports outlining Chinese commitments to buy US agricultural products as a positive sign about a preliminary trade agreement announced earlier this month that is still being hashed out.

The European Central Bank, as expected, held interest rates unchanged, while US data showed a drop in durable goods sales in September amid the General Motors strike and the production halt at Boeing over the grounded 737 MAX.

About 30 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,774.20, down 0.2 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed less than 0.1 per cent to 3,005.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 per cent to 8,153.22.

Among the many companies reporting earnings, Tesla Motors stood out, jumping 16.5 per cent after on a surprise profit of $143 million confounding analysts who had been forecasting a loss.

Tesla said it is producing vehicles "on a trial basis" at its so-called Gigafactory in Shanghai, which will help boost global production and sales.

But Twitter plunged 18.3 percent after it reported a sharp drop in quarterly profits as glitches in its ad-targeting ability hit revenues.

Among other companies reporting, Microsoft rose 1.1 percent, 3M sank 4.7 percent and Ford plunged 6.0 percent.

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