Mixed Earnings Mix Up Mr. Market: Wednesday Recap

Mixed earnings led to mixed markets on Wednesday. Data compiled by Bloomberg show that 73 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far this season have exceeded analyst expectations. However, the data also show that earnings dropped 1.1 percent in the first quarter, which marks the first year-on-year decline since 2009.

DJIA: -0.29% to 14,676.30 S&P 500: +0.00% to 1,578.79 NASDAQ: +0.01% to 3,269.65
Gold: +$15.50 to $1,430.40 per ounce Oil: +$2.42 to $91.60 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.005 points to 1.700%

Low Interest Rates Are Still Juicing the Housing Market: The housing recovery is heavily dependent on low interest rates induced by the Federal Reserve, but mortgage applications continue to slowly grind higher. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report for the week ending April 19, loan application volume edged 0.2 percent higher on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. This comes after a 4.8 percent increase. These figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and covers over 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications… (Read more.)

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U.S. Manufacturing Takes a Hit: Data show that orders for U.S. durable goods fell in March by the most in seven months as demand for commercial aircraft slumped and business investment declined. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years fell 5.7 percent compared to last month’s 4.3 percent gain. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected a much smaller decline, with the median forecast calling for a 3 percent decline. Contributing to the much lower results was an unexpected drop of 1.7 percent in orders excluding transportation equipment… (Read more.)

Gasoline Prices Trend Lower Even As Demand Rises: The Energy Information Administration released the petroleum report for the week ended April 19 today. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.5 million barrels per day (“bpd”), 586,000 bpd below the previous week’s average. At 388.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.9 million barrels last week but remained in the upper half of the average range… (Read more.)

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed the day down 0.16 percent, which is about as calm a reaction to the company’s second-quarter earnings that Mr. Market could have hoped for. Revenue increased 11.27 percent on the year to $43.6 billion, beating the average estimate of $42.59 billion. Adjusted earnings decreased 17.97 percent to $10.09 per share, beating the average estimate of $10.07 per share. The company also announced a 15 percent dividend hike and a $50 billion addition to its $10 billion share buyback program. However, gross margin shrank 9.9 points to 37.5 percent, triggering at least one downgrade… (Read more.)

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Ford (NYSE:F) closed the day down 0.22 percent after it reported its best quarter in more than a decade. Revenue increased 4.48 percent on the year to $33.9 billion, beating estimates for $33.74 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 5.13 percent to $0.41 per share, beating estimates for $0.38 per share… (Read more.)

Corning (NYSE:GLW) closed the day up 5.48 percent after reporting earnings. Revenue decreased 5.52 percent on the year to $1.81 billion, missing estimates for $1.96 billion. Adjusted earnings were flat at $0.03 per share, beating the average estimate of $0.24 per share… (Read more.)

Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD) closed the day up 22.68 percent after surprising Mr. Market with positive earnings. Adjusted earnings decreased 90 percent on the year to $0.01, which beat expectations for a loss of $0.07 per share. Revenue increased 16.4 percent to $736.9 million… (Read more.)

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) closed the day down 0.14 percent after reporting first-quarter earnings. The company reported a net loss of $0.21 per share, which was not as bad as the $0.32 per-share loss that analysts were expecting. However, Sprint reported that it lost 560,000 retail postpaid subscribers in the quarter, above expectations for a loss of 512,000. Total wireless net losses came to 415,000… (Read more.)

Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) closed the day up 7.5 percent after reporting first-quarter earnings. Revenues decreased 5.68 percent to $3.44 billion, missing the average estimate of $3.56 billion. Adjusted earnings decreased 15.60 percent to $0.92 per share, coming in ahead of estimates for $0.91 per share… (Read more.)

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Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock closed the day up 3.01 percent after announcing strong first-quarter results. Revenues decreased 2.53 percent on the year to $18.89 billion, but still beat the average analyst estimate of $18.84 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 41.8 percent on the year to $1.73 per share, ahead of the average estimate of $1.48 per share… (Read more.)

Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG) closed the day down 5.88 percent after reporting fiscal third-quarter results. Revenue climbed 2 percent on the year to $20.6 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $20.74 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 5.32 percent to $0.99 per share, beating the average estimate of $0.96 per share… (Read more.)

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