Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dull Trading Session, But Apple, Amazon Ignite After-Hours Fireworks

The wall of worry the market climbed all summer is quickly turing into a slippery slope of dissatisfaction, mostly with corporate earnings, and, over the past few days, the accelerating pace of layoffs, something the market hasn't dealt with in any size since 2010.

Stocks opened gap up, quickly decelerated and spent the majority of the session hugging the flat line. Only in the final 15 minutes did all of the indices turn sharply positive, if gains of 0.30% or so can be called sharp, though considering the growing number of earnings misses, is probably the best that could be expected.

There was a definite expression of waiting and hoping in the sentiment today, with few traders staking out new positions in advance of earnings releases by tech giants Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (APPL), both due out after the bell.

Amazon reported just minutes after the close of markets, putting up some god-awful numbers, short on revenue at 13.81 billion when the street was looking for 13.92, and a 23 cent loss ex-items on expectations of an eight-cent dip. Including one-time charges, Amazon's loss was 60 cents per share. Investors were not pleased and immediately sent the stock careering down seven percent in after hours trading.

Shortly thereafter, Apple reported earnings of $8.67 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, less than the consensus estimate of $8.75. Revenues came in at $35.96 billion, above the $35.8 billion that analysts had sought. Share traded about one percent lower in extended trading.

Weakness in the two tech retailers was not entirely unexpected, though in Amazon's case, the loss was quite a bit on the downside, setting up for an interesting day Friday on the NASDAQ where both Amazon and Apple trade.

Dow 13,103.68, +26.34(0.20%)
NASDAQ 2,986.12, +4.42(0.15%)
S&P 500 1,412.97, +4.22(0.30%)
NYSE Composite 8,211.87, +32.61(0.40%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,846,098,130
NYSE Volume 3,447,291,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3231-2256
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 141-98
WTI crude oil: 86.05, +0.32
Gold: 1,713.00, +11.40
Silver: 32.08, +0.458

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