Ford Trips Over Its Forecast and the DOJ Investigates Sprint: Market Recap

The U.S. equity markets closed today on a mixed note. Overall, relatively strong earnings have helped push markets toward five-year highs despite economic indicators that have come in all over place. Today, we learned that home prices rose, consumer confidence fell, and retail sales for January are off to a soft start.

At the close: DJIA: +0.52%, S&P 500: +0.55%, NASDAQ: -0.02%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 1.07 percent to a fourth-month high of $97.47 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.55 percent to $1,664.10 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.98 percent to $31.39 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-Bill climbed 0.034 points to 1.996 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:27amazon.600

After closing the regular session down 5.68 percent, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) surged as much as 7.21 percent in after-hours trading following its fourth-quarter report. Sales increased 22 percent to $21.27 billion and operating income increased 46 percent to $405 million. Net income decreased 45 percent to $97 million, or $0.21 per diluted share. Full-year net sales increased 27 percent to $61.09 billion for a net loss of $39 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

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Ford Motor (NYSE:F) dropped 4.64 percent on Tuesday following its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial report. America’s second-largest automaker logged its highest quarterly pre-tax profit in over a decade — $1.7 billion, or $0.31 per share, a 55 percent year-over-year increase — but investors pulled back in light of an underwhelming forecast for 2013… (Read more.)

Money PlantFacebook (NASDAQ:FB) fell 5.17 percent to close at $30.79 on Tuesday as investors decided to take profit ahead of the company’s earnings report on Wednesday after the markets close. Some observers suggest that current valuations are too high, and failure to meet expectations may generate further selling activity… (Read more.)

Most of the objections over Softbank’s (SFTBF.PK) proposed takeover of Sprint (NYSE:S), the United States’ third largest mobile carrier, have cited the deal’s potential to limit competition as a reason to be concerned. But the Department of Justice had other motives when it asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for more time to investigate the ramifications that the Japanese company’s acquisition will have on national security… (Read more.)

In arguing that Warren Buffett should not repurchase shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKB), a Tuesday article on the financial blog The Brooklyn Investor makes an important differentiation between how “Mr. Market” and Mr. Buffett regard investments, particularly those in banking stocks. Mr. Market does not see a future for the banking industry: their stocks are too volatile, they need higher capital requirements, heavier regulations have piled on pressure, and top-line growth does not seem to be forthcoming… (Read more.)

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