by Marc Bastow | January 24, 2013 5:04 pm
The good news Thursday? The S&P 500 briefly touched 1,500 for the first time since 2007 in the face of a huge blood-letting in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average set yet another five-year high — both thanks in part to mostly upbeat corporate earnings and positive data on U.S. jobless claims.
The bad news? Apple shareholders were subject to that blood-letting, and the Nasdaq couldn’t overcome it. By day’s end, the Apple- and tech-heavy index finished 0.74% lower to 3,130.38; the Dow finished up 0.33% to 13,825 and the S&P 500 was marginally higher at 1,494.82.
AAPL fell more than 12% after the company posted record earnings in its fiscal first quarter, but said current-quarter sales would come in under analysts’ expectations, as well as a host of other mixed messages.
On the flip side was Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which saw its shares surge 42% after announcing a blowout quarter.
3M (NYSE:MMM) announced that profits rose 4.4% in the fourth quarter, driven by record sales, and it confirmed its guidance for the coming year. However, MMM shares traded only fractionally better.
Shares of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) dove more than 8% after the company announced it would suspend its dividend — that despite the company reporting its first quarterly profit in the past six periods.
Rare earths miner Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) lost just more than 10% after announcing it expects considerably lower-than-estimated revenue and cash flow for the first half of 2013 — the results of which suggest a cash shortfall of around $250 million. MCP plans to offer fresh shares in an attempt to raise up to $300 million.
After the bell, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) entered the earnings confessional and came out a loser, with shares down more than 2% in early after-market trading. Fourth-quarter earnings were off 4% to $6.4 billion (76 cents per share), narrowly beating expectations of 75 cents per share. Revenues of $21.46 billion were up 3% but just slightly shy of estimates. MSFT also reported that it has sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.
Notable earnings releases for Friday include Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB), while Monday (Jan. 28) opens with Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he was long AAPL and MSFT.
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