On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks began the session in positive territory on the heels of solid earnings reports from some if the country's largest corporations. The Nasdaq was the strongest of the averages as Apple (AAPL) surprised with better-than-expected earnings and revenues along with solid guidance. The market was unable to hold its gains as investors prepared for the Fed's rate decision. With rates left unchanged and comments suggesting a brighter outlook, the market rallied back to its session highs. However, the averages quickly gave up their post-Fed gains and finished the day mixed. Oil remained under pressure and fell below $42 a barrel, a new three-month low. 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 announced that it will leave interest rates unchanged. In today's release, the Fed also noted that near-term risks to the economic outlook "have diminished." In Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for more than 28 trillion yen in economic stimulus. The announcement comes 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) jumped 6.5% to $102.95 per share after its sales and profits, and very critically its outlook for the new quarter, topped expectations... 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. Shares of Coke, whose sparkling beverage volume declined 1% in the quarter, slid 3.3% 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 0.8% to $135.96... This afternoon, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced it has approved Teva Pharmaceutical's (TEVA) acquisition of Allergan's (AGN) generics business, Actavis Generics, after the former agreed to sell the rights and assets related to 79 pharmaceutical products to settle FTC charges that its proposed acquisition would be anticompetitive. Teva, which confirmed the news and said the transaction is expected to close next week, gained about 1.5%, while Allergan rose 4.5% following the news. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was LogMeIn (LOGM), which advanced 19.9% 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 13.3% after announcing that it has agreed to be acquire for $16.50 per share by OMERS Private Equity. Among the noteworthy losers was Akamai Technologies (AKAM), which dropped 13% 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. Additionally, Twitter (TWTR) slid a 14.5% to $15.77 as three research firms downgraded the stock following its quarterly revenue miss and disappointing guidance. INDEXES: The Dow slipped 1.58, or 0.01%, to 18,472.17, the Nasdaq gained 29.76, or 0.58%, to 5,139.81, and the S&P 500 fell 2.60, or 0.12%, to 2,166.58.