Wall Street Fights to Break Even on Mixed Earnings, Economic News

Michael Teague  |

Orders for items meant to last more than three years were down nearly 6 percent in March, nearly doubling the drop that had been expected by economists. Aside from computers and electronics, up about 1 percent on the month, declines were registered in every other category of durable good.

The report comes ahead of Friday’s GDP reading that is expected to show 3 percent growth in the domestic economy in the first quarter of 2013.

After a fairly huge Tuesday, Wall Street cooled off a little, on the durable goods news, but more so as a result of somewhat disappointing news from both Apple (AAPL) and AT&T (T).

Apple’s earnings report, released during late trading on Tuesday, confirmed investor and analyst fears alike regarding the company’s slowing growth, to the extent that news of a $100 billion cash distribution plan seemed to elicit almost no excitement. Apple closed the day on a slight gain of 0.3 percent, to $407.31.

AT&T, meanwhile, broke even on earnings, but missed on revenue, with the help of a 3.4 percent decrease in Business services sales. The nation’s second largest provider of wireless services dropped over 5 percent on the day to close at $37.01.

The S&P 500 broke even at 1,578.79, with a number of tech stocks performing considerably well. First Solar (FSLR) was up 11.53 percent to close at $44.99, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) up 7.19 percent to $35.35, Corning Inc. (GLW), the maker of Gorilla Glass, up 6.02 percent to $13.92, and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) up 3.87 percent to $13.42.

The index was weighted, however, by high-volume drops not only from AT&T, but also Juniper Networks, down 9.74 percent to $15.67, and Proctor & Gamble (PG) down 6.15 percent to $77.46.

The Dow closed on the day’s biggest percentage loss, dropping 0.29 percent to 14,676.30, propped up by gains from Microsoft (MSFT) who closed on a 4.16 percent gain to $31.78, Bank of America (BAC) up 1.99 percent to $12.31 on high volume, and General Electric (GE) up 2.37 percent to $22.01.

Aside from Proctor & Gamble and AT&T, the Dow was held back by Cisco Systems (CSCO) down 2.39 percent to close at $20.41, and Pfizer (PFE), down 1.34 percent to $30.66.

The Nasdaq posted a valiant 0.01 percent gain to close at 3,269.65, with solar stocks getting caught in the upward draft of Solar City. Real Goods Solar (RSOL) was up 18 percent to $1.90, and SunPower Corp (SPWR) was up 10.36 percent to $12.25, while DayStar Technologies (DSTI) was up 10.71 percent to $0.31.

Zynga (ZNGA) was up 5.31 percent to $3.35, while Blackberry (BBRY) jumped nearly 4 percent to close at $14.90.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
GLW Corning Incorporated 27.72 -0.04 -0.14 1,952,501 Trade
PG Procter & Gamble Company (The) 123.51 1.27 1.04 2,841,050 Trade
GE General Electric Company 9.29 -0.08 -0.85 18,658,837 Trade
NVDA NVIDIA Corporation 176.08 3.39 1.96 4,273,102 Trade
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc. 49.56 -0.04 -0.08 7,019,265 Trade
BAC Bank of America Corporation 29.56 -0.04 -0.12 28,540,146 Trade
SPWR SunPower Corporation 15.36 0.66 4.49 1,618,652 Trade
RSOL Real Goods Solar Inc n/a n/a n/a 0 Trade
FSLR First Solar Inc. 68.23 1.53 2.29 722,292 Trade
ZNGA Zynga Inc. 6.15 -0.02 -0.24 6,275,308 Trade
BRCM Broadcom Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0 Trade
OPY Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. Class A (DE) 31.25 0.05 0.16 11,858 Trade
T AT&T Inc. 37.77 -0.15 -0.38 12,271,969 Trade
BBRY BB BlackBerry Limited n/a n/a n/a n/a
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 139.42 -0.02 -0.01 9,295,097 Trade
AAPL Apple Inc. 219.11 1.38 0.63 12,017,279 Trade

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HD

     
JPM

     
IBM

     

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