Morgan Stanley posted a third-quarter net loss, hurt by special charges and declines in sales and trading activity in a market that's been low on volume for months. On an adjusted basis, the world's biggest brokerage missed Wall Street's forecast.
Earnings season unofficially kicks off after the markets close Thursday when Alcoa reports. And some big-name beat-and-raise earnings reports could be just the spark to ignite that market-moving dry powder.
Stocks kicked off the final quarter of the year with moderate gains Friday as more encouraging data on consumer spending, consumer sentiment and auto sales were partly offset by a slowdown in manufacturing activity.