by Marc Bastow | July 25, 2012 5:15 pm
The markets were a mixed mess Wednesday as earnings once again ruled the day.
The Dow managed to snap a three-day string of losses thanks to banner results released by components Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT). On the flip side, the Nasdaq fell in response to Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) disappointing results offered up after the bell on Tuesday. All the earnings news was balanced by a report showing that new home sales fell 8.4% in June after reaching a two-year high in May.
The Dow finished up 0.47% to 12,676, while the Nasdaq fell 0.31% to 2,854. The S&P split the difference, finishing down marginally at 1,337.
Caterpillar, one of the Dow’s most heavily weighted stocks, started the day by beating earnings and revenue numbers and providing rosy guidance figures for the remainder of the year. Boeing followed suit by announcing better than expected results and also calling for improved numbers the remainder of the year. Boeing gained 3%, while CAT finished up more than 1%.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) continued to take a beating dropping 25% during the day as investors kept up their selling despite upbeat earnings released on Tuesday. The stock is down more than 70% for the year, and said the upcoming Olympics will hurt short-term viewership numbers. RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) also took a bath, dropping 29% on the day after announcing a big loss and suspending its dividend.
PepsiCo‘s (NYSE:PEP) revenue and earnings came in below last year’s quarterly figures, but adjusted net income topped Street estimates. Pepsi blamed cost-cutting, unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and restructuring charges, and despite the news the stock traded up over 2% during the day.
Ford‘s (NYSE:F) Q2 profit dropped 57%, mostly due to losses in its European and Asian divisions as domestic sales continued to improve. Ford also acknowledged it will not exceed last year’s $8.7 billion operating profit; shares fell 1% Wednesday.
AOL (NYSE:AOL) surprised everyone by turning a solid profit for the second quarter against a loss last year, as ad revenue increased and the company got a big cash boost from a $1.05 billion patent sale to Microsoft. AOL shares jumped up more than 7%.
In after-hours earnings news, Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was pummeled by almost 40% in early post-market trading after the company reported a second-quarter loss and slashed full-year earnings estimates to 4 to 9 cents per share from its April forecast of 23 to 29 cents per share. Zynga’s big-time partner Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which announces earnings tomorrow, was down 7% on the news.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) reported results that topped Street estimates and raised full year guidance, and investors drove shares up 12% after the bell.
Thursday’s earnings announcements include 3M (NYSE:MMM), O’Reilly Auto (NASDAQ:ORLY) and Goodyear Tire (NYSE:GT).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long INTC, AAPL and AOL.
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