On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory as the market tried to resume its recent rally after pausing yesterday. Investors were hit with a barrage of earnings reports, economic data, central bank decisions and debate over the Trump administration plans on tax cuts. The S&P and Dow began to lose their momentum a short time after the open and have dropped in the red, though the Nasdaq has remained in positive territory near midday ahead of a busy night for tech earnings with Alphabet (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) all scheduled to report. ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 257,000 in the week ended April 22, from 243,000 last week. The trade deficit in goods widened slightly to $64.8B from a revised $63.9B. Durable goods orders rose 0.7% in March after a 2.3% increase in February. An index of pending home sales fell 0.8% to 111.4 in March following the 5.5% rebound to 112.3 in February, which was the highest since May 2006. Gas inventories showed a 74 billion cubic feet build versus consensus of a 73 billion cubic feet build. In Europe, the European Central Bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged. In Asia, the Bank of Japan raised its economic forecasts, but kept policy steady, as was widely expected. COMPANY NEWS: Comcast (CMCSA) has gained over 2.5% after the telecommunications conglomerate reported first quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations as the company grew its video subscriptions and boosted sales in its film business... Conversely, shares of Ford (F) and Dow Chemical (DOW) have each dropped about 1.5% despite announcing better than expected results for the quarter... Meanwhile, UPS (UPS) has advanced 1% following better than expected results despite pressure on its bottom line from fuel prices and a larger share of business coming from home delivery. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was PayPal (PYPL), which advanced 7% after the payments company reported an earnings beat. Also higher was Under Armour (UAA), which gained 9% following a smaller than expected loss for the quarter. Additionally, Domino's Pizza (DPZ) rose over 3% after the company topped earnings and revenue expectations. Among the noteworthy losers was Southwest Airlines (LUV), which slid 3% after reporting a lower than expected quarterly profit, hit by higher operating expenses and a decline in average fares. Also lower was American Airlines (AAL), which slipped 7% after the air carrier reported first quarter results and announced a pay increase for crewmembers. Additionally, F5 Networks (FFIV) dropped over 8% following disappointing quarter results. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 17.21, or 0.08%, to 20,957.88, the Nasdaq was up 13.74, or 0.23%, to 6,038.97, and the S&P 500 was down 1.80, or 0.08%, to 2,385.65.