What Will Drive the Dow This Morning

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Yesterday was a pretty good day for the market. After a slow start, all three indexes ended the day up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) was up 0.66% to 12,758.85, the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) was up 1.14% to 2,818.31, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) was up 0.87% to 1,326.06.

What drove the market yesterday was Apple's fantastic earnings and the Federal Reserve's report of its intention to continue near-zero short-term interest rates into late 2014 (extended from mid-2013).

Just as Apple's after-hour earnings Tuesday influenced Wednesday's market, Wednesday's after-market reporters will influence Thursday's market.

Now, hardly any company has the cachet (or market cap!) of Apple, but Netflix (NAS: NFLX) is certainly a much-talked-about stock. Shares jumped about 14% after it reported earnings of $0.73 a share, blowing away analyst estimates of $0.54. Its streaming service now boasts 21.67 million subscribers, a 220,000-sub gain. It expects that number to increase to between 22.8 million and 23.6 million by the end of the first quarter.

Less splashy than Netflix, there were two notable late earnings reports out of the semiconductor space -- one good, one not so good. LSI shares rose more than 8% on favorable sales projections for the first quarter despite missing fourth-quarter earnings by a penny. But in a mirror image, SanDisk (NAS: SNDK) shares fell more than 8% on unfavorable sales guidance for the first quarter despite beating earnings estimates.

Among today's big earnings, three Dow components are slated to release earnings: Caterpillar, AT&T, and 3M.

And if you're looking for economic reports, durable orders, initial claims, and new-home sales all come out this morning.

Those are the news items we know for sure. But every day comes with surprises. Just remember to keep it all in perspective, look past the daily news, and invest for the long term. For a few ideas on some good long-term stocks, check out our free report: "Secure Your Future With 11 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks."

At the time this article was published Anand Chokkaveluowns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Netflix, 3M, and Apple, creating a diagonal call position in 3M, and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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