US stocks advanced in early trade on Monday with S&P 500 Index gaining 0.69 points, or 0.05 percent, to trade at 1,284.01 at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 23.16 points, or 0.20 percent, to trade at 11,895.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.22 percent.

As no major economic data are due to be released on Monday, the focus was on latest quarterly reports from major companies.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL) shares declined 1.74 percent despite better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. Its fourth-quarter profit rose to $605 million or $0.66 per share from $243 million or $0.27 per share in the same period a year ago.

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD) shares declined 0.76 percent despite reporting fourth quarter net income of $1.16 per share, which is in line with expectations, and above the $1.03 per share posted in the same quarter a year ago.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA) shares advanced 5.50 percent to $23.44. Intel and Nvidia's legal case, which began with the former suing the latter in 2009 and subsequently being counter-sued, has reached a conclusion with Intel agreeing to pay Nvidia $1.5 billion to use its chip technology.

Radioshack Corp. (NYSE:RSH) shares plunged 11.41 percent as the company’s fourth quarter guidance misses analysts’ estimate. The company announced that preliminary diluted earnings per share (EPS) for fourth quarter of 2010 are expected to be in the range of $0.50 to $0.54 against analysts’ estimation of $0.66.

Companies including Texas Instruments, Amgen, American Express and CSX are due to report their quarterly earnings after the market closes.

The euro declined 0.12 percent to 1.3604 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.16 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 1.29 percent to $87.96/barrel and gold futures rose 0.16 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 up by 23.44 points, DAX30 down by 38.67 points and CAC 40 down by 0.83 points.