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

Michael Teague |

Wall Street FinancialsOrders 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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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AAPL Apple Inc. 117.65 1.05 0.90 23,581,857
BAC Bank of America Corporation 16.77 0.10 0.60 68,245,100
BBRY BlackBerry Limited 7.35 -0.02 -0.27 2,080,286
BRCM Broadcom Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc. 30.46 0.31 1.03 14,115,640
FSLR First Solar Inc. 40.87 -1.38 -3.27 2,521,152
GE General Electric Co 28.92 -0.06 -0.21 31,140,240
GLW Corning Incorporated 23.89 0.07 0.29 9,829,373
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 61.00 1.34 2.25 54,073,659
NVDA NVIDIA Corporation 70.71 3.17 4.69 8,495,946
OPY Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. Class A (DE) 15.05 0.05 0.33 12,536
PG Procter & Gamble Company (The) 84.10 -0.23 -0.27 10,573,208
RSOL Real Goods Solar Inc n/a n/a n/a 0
SPWR SunPower Corporation 8.62 -0.37 -4.12 2,028,520
T AT&T Inc. 36.86 -0.63 -1.68 100,587,987
ZNGA Zynga Inc. 2.94 0.06 1.91 6,183,042


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