Thursday, April 24, 2014
From news service reports
S&P inches to record high with help of gold, copper
Mining companies helped the stock market overcome some disappointing quarterly performances on Monday.
Poor second-quarter results from a handful of large U.S. companies weighed on stocks. But gold and copper prices boosted mining companies, and that helped nudge the market to another all-time high.
Investors are looking ahead a busy week of corporate earnings. More than 150 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index are reporting quarterly earnings over the next four days.
The S&P 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,695.53 on Monday. The index is at an all-time high, though trading volumes were lower than average. The Dow Jones industrial rose nearly 1.8 points, or 0.01 percent, to 15,545.55. The Nasdaq composite climbed 12.77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,600.39.
McDonald's shares plunge as expectations aren't met
McDonald's is mixing up its menu with healthier, fresher sounding items such as its chicken McWraps, but not enough customers are biting.
The world's biggest hamburger chain on Monday reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also said July sales are expected to be relatively flat and warned of a tough year ahead, given the heightened competition and rough economic conditions around the world.
McDonald's shares fell 2.7 percent, or $2.69, to close at $97.58. Over the past year, the stock is up 13 percent.
Netflix stock declines 6% but its earnings quadruple
Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than quadrupled as the revival of the comedy series "Arrested Development" attracted more subscribers.
The report released Monday showed Netflix added 630,000 U.S. subscribers during the three months ending in June. That performance was slightly above the midrange target set by Netflix Inc.'s management in April, but less than what many investors were expecting. Its stock fell 6 percent.
The gains leave Netflix with 29.8 million U.S. subscribers to an $8 monthly service that streams video to Internet-connected devices.
The second quarter included Netflix's Memorial Day weekend release of 15 new "Arrested Development" episodes.
Netflix earned $29.5 million, or 49 cents per share, in the quarter, up from $6.2 million a year earlier.
Portugal's markets surge as ruling coalition survives
Portuguese financial markets surged Monday after a weekend decision to allow the fragile coalition government to remain in charge, eliminating for now the prospect of snap elections and more political uncertainty.
Lisbon's PSI 20 stock index was up 2.4 percent in late afternoon trading while government bond prices rose sharply, causing borrowing rates to fall.