Stocks Mixed on Earnings!
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, with the Nasdaq holding onto slight gains and the Dow being weighed down by declines from its three earnings reporters. Also potentially putting pressure on the market were reports that the Federal Reserve could reduce its stimulus program again after its next meeting. The selling momentum has gradually increased throughout the morning, pushing the Dow down more than 0.5% by midday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no market-moving economic data was reported this morning. In China, data from over the long weekend showed that the nation’s economy grew 7.7% in the fourth quarter, which was a bit above the consensus forecast for 7.6% growth. China’s industrial production rose 9.7% in December, which was just below the 9.8% estimate. Also, the International Monetary Fund slightly raised its projection for global growth in 2014 to 3.7% from its prior view of 3.6% in its latest World Economic Outlook report.
COMPANY NEWS: Verizon (VZ) reported fourth quarter profits and revenue that beat the consensus estimate of analysts, but also projected its capital spending in 2014 to be about $16.5B-$17B, compared to the $16.6B it spent on capital projects this year. The telecom, which also announced a deal to purchase Intel’s (INTC) division dedicated to the development of Cloud TV products and services, was the worst performing member of the Dow, sliding over 2.5% near noon. Two other Dow member weighing on the index after their earnings reports were drug and consumer products maker Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which fell almost 2%, and insurer Travelers (TRV), which slid 1.7%.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Inteliquent (IQNT), which rose 20% after the company hired Cbeyond’s (CBEY) former Vice President of Finance and Treasurer to be its Chief Financial Officer and the stock was upgraded to Outperform at Raymond James. Also higher was BlackBerry (BBRY), which jumped over 9% after the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it would permit 80,000 of the company’s devices on its management system. Among the noteworthy losers was Amarin (AMRN), which dropped 24% after the FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, or DMEP, told the company it does not plan to re-instate the rescinded ANCHOR clinical trial Special Protocol Assessment agreement. Also lower were shares of Expedia (EXPE), which fell more than 4% after the blog "SearchEngineLand" said the travel company lost 25% of its "search visibility" on Google (GOOG), possibly due to "an unnatural link penalty."