On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were moving in a sideways fashion in morning trading once again as the pace of earnings reporting continues to be frenzied. Quarterly results, headlined by Apple's (AAPL) better than expected report, were the focus of the early part of the session but that focus will shift shortly toward the Fed when the central bank releases its latest rate decision, though it would be shocking to the market if rates are hiked today. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., durable goods orders fell 4.0% in June, versus expectations for a decline of 1.4%. When transportation items are removed from the data, the core reading was down 0.5%, versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%. The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index rebounded 0.2% to 111.0 in June, though that was not as big of a snap back as was expected. DOE inventory data showed a 1.7M barrel rise in crude stocks, versus the expected 2.0M barrel decrease. The Federal Reserve, which is seen as highly unlikely to raise its benchmark interest rate at this time, will deliver its FOMC meeting statement at 2 pm ET. In Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for more than 28 trillion yen in economic stimulus. The timing of announcement is significant, coming two days ahead of Friday's Bank of Japan policy meeting, at which the central bank is widely expected to announce further easing actions. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) advanced more than 6.5% to over $103 per share after its sales and profits, and very critically its outlook for the new quarter, topped expectations. The tech giant's report and guidance gave a boost to several of its suppliers, who have been weighed on recently as expectations for the iPhone maker have been sliding. Some of the winners after Apple report include Qorvo (QRVO), Cirrus Logic (CRUS) and Skyworks (SWKS)... Coca-Cola (KO) reported better than expected quarterly comparable earnings, but also said it expects its comparable EPS to be down 4% to 7% in this fiscal year. Coke shares slid about 3% following its report. Fellow Dow member Boeing (BA) reported quarterly losses that were not as steep as expected, but sharply reduced its core earnings guidance for this fiscal year. The lowered guidance, however, is above the consensus expectation of analysts prior to the report, helping Boeing shares rise about 1%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was LogMeIn (LOGM), which advanced about 20% after the company reported quarterly results and announced that it has entered into a definite merger agreement with Citrix Systems' (CTXS) GoTo business unit. Also higher was EPIQ Systems (EPIQ), which rose almost 14% after announcing that it has agreed to be acquire for $16.50 per share by OMERS Private Equity. Additionally, Unisys (UIS) gained nearly 30% following second quarter results. Among the noteworthy losers was Akamai Technologies (AKAM), which dropped over 17% after the company reported in-line second quarter earnings per share and worse-than-expected guidance for the third quarter. Pacific Crest analyst Michael Bowen downgraded the stocked to Sector Weight, citing the lowered expectations for its big two media customers. Also lower after earnings was Globus Medical (GMED), which slipped more than 14%. As a result, several Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock this morning to Neutral-equivalent ratings. Additionally, Twitter (TWTR) slid a bit over 13% after three research firms downgraded the stock to Hold following quarterly results. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 19.56, or 0.11%, to 18,454.19, the Nasdaq was up 15.58, or 0.3%, to 5,125.63, and the S&P 500 was down 6.58, or 0.3%, to 2,162.60.