Disappointing results from 3M, DuPont and United Technologies set off broad selling. Downgrades of Spanish regions hit European stocks. Apple falls despite its new iPad. Facebook results cheer; Netflix do not. Oil falls below $87.

By Charley Blaine Oct 23, 2012 12:04PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 9:25 p.m. ET

Stocks slumped today as more companies reported lower-than-expected revenue and cut earnings guidance. The drubbing sent the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) to its second loss of more than 200 points in three sessions and set off worries that the pullback is a signal of a weakening economy ahead.

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) closed below 3,000 for the first time since Aug. 6. Apple (AAPL) shares slid after the company announced its new iPad Mini tablet device would be priced at $329. Many investors were hoping for a $299 price, arguing it would sell better at a lower price.

After the close, Facebook (FB) shares jumped $1.98, or 10.2%, to $21.13 after reporting that earnings of 12 cents a share after one-time expenses beat the Street estimate by a penny. Revenue of $1.26 billion was up 32% from a year ago and beat the Street estimate by $30 million. Shares were up 18 cents to $19.50 in regular trading.

But Netflix (NFLX) shares were down $11.22, or 16.3%, to $57.12 after hours as results from its video streaming business weren't as strong as expected and the company starts to produce original programming. Earnings fell to 13 cents a share from $1.16 a year ago. The company may see a fourth-quarter loss. 

The Dow ends up 2 points after briefly falling as many as 108 points. Caterpillar sees the world economy slowing faster than expected. Apple leads tech stocks higher. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold misses Street estimates.

By Charley Blaine Oct 22, 2012 12:42PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 8 p.m. ET

Stocks rebounded completely from sharp midafternoon declines today after construction-equipment-maker Caterpillar (CAT) cut its outlook for the second time this year, warning the global economy was slowing faster than it had expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was briefly down as many as 108 points before new buying set in -- and then accelerated. The index had been held back by weakness in General Electric (GE), MSN Money publisher Microsoft (MSFT) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Technology shares, however, were mostly higher, led by Apple (AAPL), which is expected to unveil a new mini-iPad on Tuesday. The company also reports fiscal-fourth-quarter results after Thursday's close.

Yahoo
(YHOO) shares were up 73 cents, or 4.6%, to $16.50 after hours. New CEO Marissa Mayer cheered analysts by saying she wants the company to have a coherent mobile advertising strategy. Plus, she wants to focus the company around "daily habits" of
users such as email, the home page, Internet search and mobile devices." 

The slump is the worst since June and comes on the 25th anniversary of the 1987 crash. McDonald's and GE say the global economy is struggling. Microsoft, Google and Chipotle slide. Apple drops under $610. Oil and gold drop.

By Charley Blaine Oct 19, 2012 12:21PM

Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:52 p.m. ET

Stocks suffered their worst one-day losses in about four months today as earnings from some of the biggest companies missed estimates, particularly on revenue, because of slowing economies at home and abroad.

The slump came on the 25th anniversary of the 1987 market crash that saw the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) fall 508 points, or 23%, in a single day.

While today's slump was painful, it was nothing like 1987. The Dow fell 205 points in its worst loss since June 21. Earnings from McDonald's (MCD) and General Electric (GE) today and Microsoft (MSFT), the publisher of MSN Money, Thursday disappointed investors. In addition, Google (GOOG) was lower again after third-quarter results proved disappointing, and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) shares were crushed, falling $42.93 to $243, because of slowing sales growth.


There was some cheer from the housing industry. The National Association of Realtors reported a small decline in existing-home sales in September, but prices were higher and inventories were shrinking.

 

The search giant's results -- released early -- disappoint and slam tech shares. Microsoft's earnings don't excite. Investors hate Chipotle's results. Travelers and Verizon earnings impress. Gold and oil slip.

By Charley Blaine Oct 18, 2012 1:17PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:37 p.m. ET

Tech stocks took a dive today after earnings from Internet search giant Google (GOOG) were released early -- and disappointed investors.

Google shares slumped $68.10 to $687.39 before trading was halted and closed down $60.49 to $695. (Trading resumed at 3:20 p.m. ET.) Earnings of $9.03 a share (after one-time charges) missed the Street estimate by $1.62 and were down from $9.72 a year ago. Revenue of $11.33 billion, up 45% from a year ago, nonetheless missed the consensus estimate of $11.86 billion.

Google's miss was so bad that CEO Larry Page, his voice sounding strained, began the company's conference call by apologizing for the "scramble" in the afternoon. The scramble  pulled shares of Facebook (FB), Yelp (YELP), Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA) lower. Tech shares were already weak because of a decline in shares of Apple (AAPL).

Microsoft (MSFT) was lower in regular trading and fell further after hours after its fiscal-first-quarter earnings were released. Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) fell more than 10% after hours as results disappointed investors. (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.) 

Housing starts hit a 4-year high, cheering investors. But the Dow and Nasdaq muster only small gains because of weakness in IBM and Intel. Apollo shares sag on earnings warning. Nike ends ties with Lance Armstrong. Oil, gold move up.

By Charley Blaine Oct 17, 2012 1:28PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 6:50 p.m. ET

This was one of those days when one stock -- IBM (IBM) -- made the market look worse than it actually was.

The major averages did, in fact, finish higher today, thanks to gains for housing, financial and biotech stocks. Housing starts hit a four-year high in September. Building permits also jumped, suggesting building should be solid in the months ahead.

Because of the report, homebuilding stocks surged. So did such housing-related stocks as Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), Caterpillar (CAT), La-Z-Boy (LZB), Whirlpool (WHR) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) rallied nicely.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) finished up a modest 5 points to 13,557. IBM was down $10.37 to $200.63 after a disappointing earnings report. Had IBM and Intel (INTC), which also disappointed, simply finished flat on the day, the blue chips would have been up 90 points. IBM's decline subtracted nearly 80 points from the Dow. Intel subtracted an additional 4 points from the index.  

But IBM and Intel results disappoint. Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson results cheer Wall Street. Citigroup's Vikram Pandit abruptly resigns as CEO after a board conflict. Consumer prices rise along with gas prices.

By Charley Blaine Oct 16, 2012 12:52PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 11:49 p.m. ET

Stocks enjoyed their biggest rally in a month today, thanks to decent earnings from Goldman Sachs (GS), UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

At the same time, Vikram Pandit's resignation as CEO of Citigroup (C) startled many on Wall Street, especially as news reports suggested that his departure came as the result of conflict with his board over pay and strategic issues. Michael Corbat, who had been Citigroup's CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was named the new CEO. Citigroup shares were up 59 cents to $37.25, not far from their 52-week high of $38.40.

After the close, shares of both IBM (IBM) and Intel (INTC) moved lower as the initial take on earnings reports disappointed.

Futures trading suggests a modestly lower open on Wednesday. Trading in Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) futures appeared to dip during the debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Trading on Intrade, the Irish web site that lets investors speculate on possible election outcomes, saw prices rise on the odds Obama will reelection -- suggesting traders, at least, thought the president came out on top in the clash. 

Investors are cheered that September retail sales are stronger than expected. Apple's iPhone sales help. Citigroup's core business is getting stronger. Speculators bet Clearwire will be part of the Sprint-Softbank deal.

By Charley Blaine Oct 15, 2012 1:10PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 5:50 p.m. ET

Stocks surged today with a solid and broad rally that saw the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) enjoy their best day in a month.

The rally was built on a decent report on September retail sales, better-than-expected quarterly results from Citigroup (C) and, finally, Softbank's (SFTBY) deal to buy 70% of Sprint Nextel (S).

Adding some extra cheer to the market: Gains in health care stocks triggered in part by an Eli Lilly (LLY) report that a new gastric-cancer drug has produced good results and an analyst upgrade. In addition, inflation and trade data from China made investors more optimistic about the world's second-largest economy.

Manufacturing in New York contracted more than economists expected in September, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey. 

The Dow ends up slightly; the Nasdaq and S&P 500 slip. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan earnings beat estimates, but margins are squeezed. Apple moves higher. Google falls on antitrust worries. Oil and gold fall.

By Charley Blaine Oct 12, 2012 12:55PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 6:18 p.m. ET

Stocks struggled for most of the day just to end flat after giving up an early rally. In the process, the major indexes suffered their worst weekly losses since the very end of May.

The early rally fizzled despite rising consumer confidence, and earnings beats from banking giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). But shares of both companies fell because of worries that profit margins were shrinking.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) gave up all of an early 75-point gain by noon ET. But, in finishing with a tiny gain, they broke a four-day losing streak. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was lower for the sixth straight day. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was lower for the fifth time in the last six days.

The market's desultory performance came as the first week of earnings season ended. Next week, Wall Street faces a much bigger set of results, including reports from Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Coca-Cola (KO), IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT, publisher of MSN Money) and McDonald's (MCD).  

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market punctuated July with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 2.0% with all ten sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index posted a monthly decline of 1.5%, while the Russell 2000 (-2.3%) underperformed to end the month lower by 6.1%.

To get a better feel for what led to today's retreat, we'd like to look back to Wednesday, when the market had ample reason to rally, but did not. Instead, it ended basically flat after a sloppy day of ... More


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