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Stocks Mixed As Earnings Evaluated

Business Roundup for Tuesday, January 21

A Verizon Wireless store
A Verizon Wireless store (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks remain mixed as investors assess the latest round of corporate earnings. Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs are among the losers in the Dow, while materials companies have been among the gainers, led by Dow Chemical and Alcoa. The Dow was off about 50 points in afternoon trading, while the broader indexes are modestly higher.

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Dow Chemical are up 6 percent after a hedge fund acquired a stake in the company. Third Point LLC says it wants Dow to spin off its petrochemicals division. Dow says it welcomes constructive input, but maintains its investments have yielded value for shareholders and will continue to do so.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — A survey of the world’s corporate leaders finds them “gradually switching from survival mode to growth mode.” PricewaterhouseCoopers says the CEOs it surveyed are more confident in the global economy, though generating growth is “getting increasingly complicated” amid new regulations introduced since the financial crisis exploded in 2008.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Bombardier is laying off about 1,700 employees and contractors at its facilities in the United States and Canada. That number includes 550 people in the company’s Learjet facility in Wichita, Kansas. Bombardier says the Wichita layoffs include 200 contractors who left the company in December after their contracts expired and were not renewed. Bombardier blames persistently challenging market conditions for light aircraft.

NEW YORK (AP) — Four major U.S. corporations are reporting fourth quarter financial results that beat Wall Street expectations. Halliburton’s fourth-quarter profit rose 19 percent as did Johnson & Johnson’s. An increase in fares and passengers boosted Delta Airlines’ profit, while Verizon saw growth in both its wireless and landline services as it turned a profit of more than $5 billion for the quarter.

NEW YORK (AP) — Mondelez International has given activist investor Nelson Peltz a seat on its board. Peltz has criticized the company’s performance since it split from Kraft Foods in October of 2012. He has also called for PepsiCo to spin off its drinks business and merge its Frito-Lay food business with Mondelez to create a snacking giant. Mondelez makes Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies, Cadbury chocolates, Trident gum and Ritz crackers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund’s forecasts for the U.S. and global economies are improving. In an updated outlook, IMF projects the U.S. economy will grow 2.8 percent this year. That compares with an estimate of less than 2 percent growth in 2013. Meanwhile, the IMF projects the world economy will grow 3.7 percent in 2014, up from about 3 percent. The IMF says the global economy picked up in the second half of 2013 and it expects that momentum to carry over.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it is suspending a part of the free trade negotiations with the United States. The EU trade chief says it needs three months for public consultation on proposed investment rules. Non-governmental organizations and some officials have voiced unease over what they say are loopholes in the rules that might expose governments to lawsuits by multinational firms.

BEIJING (AP) — International stock markets rose today after China’s central bank injected extra credit into its financial system, helping to offset concern about slower Chinese growth. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $94 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and was barely changed against the euro.

UNDATED (AP) — Although there are no government economic reports due out today, six large companies will release their quarterly financial results. Delta Air Lines, Halliburton, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications and SAP AG will report earnings before the bell. IBM will report after the market closes.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City-based Overstock.com Inc. says it’s the first major retailer to accept digital Bitcoins as payment for goods. The $1 billion company is tapping into a new market of buyers who use the online currency, and says other major retailers will lose market share if they don’t follow suit. Bitcoin users buy digital money and can buy things online without having to enter their credit card information.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat-processing companies, says it’s acquired the assets of Bosco’s Pizza Co. of Warren, Mich. Bosco’s produces a variety of stuffed bread sticks and frozen pizzas for food service and retail customers throughout the Midwest and at some national retailers. The company will become part of Tyson Foods’ Prepared Foods division but continue to operate under the Bosco’s name.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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