Weak Earnings and the Credit Card Rally Loses Steam: Market Recap

Yesterday’s report that fourth-quarter GDP unexpectedly contracted compounded pessimism surrounding some weak earnings released on Thursday, pulling the markets down for the day.

At the close: DJIA: -0.36%, S&P 500: -0.26%, NASDAQ: -0.01%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell 0.51 percent to $97.44 per barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 1.01 percent to $1,664.60 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling 2.23 percent to $31.46 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-bill fell 0.007 points to 1.986 percent.

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

The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) didn’t do too bad for itself last year, with the last quarter and the whole year showing increased performance from the year earlier. Some might chalk it up to the private equity industry’s revival, others might go with wise investment, but either way, Blackstone has shown great performance in the last quarter. Blackstone’s earnings for the fourth quarter were up at about $670 million — a 43 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Annual earnings reached about $2 billion — a 30 percent increase from 2011… (Read more.)

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Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) found itself facing a less-interested market in the most recent quarter, and posted reduced performance Thursday, reporting October-December quarterly earnings before the bell. Dow Chemical’s earnings on revenue reached $0.33 per share in the quarter; revenue was $13.2 billion. These values fell slightly below analysts’ expectations in a Reuters consensus estimate, which had Dow Chemical earning $0.34 a share on revenue of $13.7 billion, excluding items… (Read more.)

DunkinDunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) reported forth-quarter and full-year earnings that received a positive reaction from investors. Highlights for the fourth quarter include 3.2 percent comparable-store sales growth and a 4.3 point bump in adjusted operating margins to 47.6 percent. Revenues were the weakest part of the report, falling 4 percent to $161.7 million, below expectations… (Read more.)

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has received a great deal of criticism over its lacking presence in mobile. When the social media giant debuted on the Nasdaq in May, lackluster ad revenue from mobile devices drew red flags. Now, mobile is a growing accomplishment on Facebook’s timeline, but expenses are on the rise… (Read more.)

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before the markets opened on Thursday. Fourth-quarter net revenue increased 10 percent to $1.9 billion, while net income increased from $0.15 per share in 4Q 2011 to $4.88 in 4Q 2012. For the year, revenue climbed 10 percent to $7.4 billion, while earnings increased 18 percent to $22.04 per diluted share — by all measures a strong year. The company’s 2012 results helped catalyze a 33.4 percent climb on the stock chart, and on January 30 shares were up 45.1 percent year over year. The rally has been phenomenal, and not just for MasterCard… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Facebook: Still Expanding its Message Around the World.