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Stock Market Today: Don’t Miss These Earnings Reports – Money Morning

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

Coming off the worst week of the year, U.S. equities were mixed in the stock market today (Monday) at we kick off a big week for earnings.

In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14.19, or 0.10%, at 14,533.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.50, or 0.22%, to 1,558.93.

The Nasdaq was up 20.17, or 0.63%, to 3,226.23.

Gold, which lost 7%, or $105.70 a troy ounce last week, was down 20 cents, to $1,426.30.

Last week was the Dow’s worst since June 1, 2012. The benchmark lost 2%, or 317.55 points, at 14,547.51. The S&P shed 33.6 points, or 2.1%, at 1,555.25. The Nasdaq fell 88.89 points, or 2.7%, to 3,206.06. After the Dow and S&P set consecutive records, investors have grown cautious.

Earnings continue to drive markets. Nearly 67% of companies that have reported Q1 earnings beat lowered forecasts, better that the usual 63%. But only 43% beat their revenue marks, well below the regular 62%, according to Thomson Reuters. Cost-cutting is making up for waning revenue growth – a trend analysts warn can’t last forever.

The earnings parade continues this week with some 170 S&P and Dow companies reporting, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM).

Biggest News in the Stock Market Today

  • Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), deemed a bellwether for the global economy because of its size and scope, missed on both earnings and revenue. Income fell to $880 million, or $1.31 a share, down from $1.59 billion, or $2.37, a year earlier. Analysts were looking for $1.38 a share. The world’s largest maker of mining equipment cut its full-year outlook “because our expectations for mining have decreased significantly.” CAT shares have declined 10% year-to-date, making it the worst performer on the DJIA. Providing a cushion for shares Monday was the company’s announcement it will buy back $1 billion of stock. Shares were trading at $82.50, up 2.57%.
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped 4.10%, to $30.99, after CNBC reported hedge fund ValueAct is set to take a $2 billion stake in the tech company. Such a move would make ValueAct Microsoft’s largest shareholder.
  • General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) slid 2.41%, to $21.23, after JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) downgraded GE to “Neutral” with a $22 price target. The bank said GE has less visibility, that it no longer considers GE a “safety stock” and sees little upside to shares.
  • Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) easily topped estimates, thanks to a robust showing from its international business. Earnings came in at $0.67 a share, 9 cents ahead of forecasts.  Shares climbed 5.24%, to $39.16.
  • Power One Inc. (Nasdaq: PWER) soared 56.93%, to $6.34, after Swiss company ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) agreed to acquire the solar power company in a $1 billion deal.
  • Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) rose 1.14%, to $26.02, after data showed its new Home version garnered more than 500,000 downloads since its April 16 debut.  But with more than 1 billion active Facebook members, the tally doesn’t impress many. Big-money investors remain wary of FB shares. More than 70% of mangers who responded to Barron’s Spring 2013 Big Money Poll gave Facebook a “thumbs-down.”

Earnings on Tap

  • Neftlix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) rose 7.48%, to $175.59, ahead of its earnings release after the close. Hopes are the company will show a boost to its bottom line, thanks to its new series “House of Cards.” Expectations are for 18 cents a share on $1.01 billion in sales.
  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was up 1.77% Monday. Shares are trading more than $300 below its peak of $705, hit in mid-September.  The iPhone maker reports Tuesday. Analysts expect earnings of $10.07 for the quarter, versus $12.30 earned in the same period a year ago.
  • The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), which just boosted its quarterly dividend 7% to 60.15 cents a share, its 57th consecutive increase, reports Wednesday. The consensus is for 95 cents a share, a penny better than the year-ago quarter.
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the world’s most valuable company, will report Q1 earnings Thursday. Analysts are looking for $2.04 a share, compared with $2.00 a year earlier.

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This is a syndicated post, which originally appeared at Money MorningView original post.

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