The Dow Rocked by Earnings Storm

We are fully into fourth-quarter earnings, and January's hot start may be showing signs of weakness as five different Dow components reported mixed results, conspiring with Greek debt news to push the index into negative territory.

But before we jump into the yesterday's events, let's cover how the three largest indices fared.

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)




Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)




S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC)




Although the overall trend was down for the day, all three indices rallied back after tough mornings, so the results could have been worse. The Nasdaq broke a two-day losing streak to become today's big winner while the S&P 500 managed to tread water around 1,315. The big story was the Dow earnings storm when DuPont (NYS: DD) , Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Travelers, and Verizon, a full sixth of the index, reported results. Of the group only DuPont closed the trading session with a gain. The company grew revenue by 14% and beat earnings estimates by two cents but saw a 30% drop in profits thanks to higher than anticipated taxes low volumes. J&J was unchanged while Verizon lost 1.6%, McDonald's fell 2.2%, and Travelers plummeted 3.8%.

The slow-motion train-wreck that is the Greek debt crisis may be inching toward a conclusion, albeit an unpleasant one. After an unsatisfactory "final offer" to the country's private creditors, stalled negotiations are pushing Greece closer to default.

After hours, it was all Apple (NAS: AAPL) . The largest tech company in the world released first-quarter numbers that obliterated analyst estimates. Expect these earnings to reverberate around the Nasdaq as suppliers soar and competitors shrink. Apple sold over 37 million iPhones, 15 million iPads, 15 million iPods, and 5 million Macs. Once trading resumed, shares popped 9% to $460 after hours. Margins expanded on a record breaking $46 billion in first quarter revenue, beating estimates by $7 billion, and leaving the company just shy of $100 billion in cash. What Apple does with that horde of cash will be a hot topic of discussion in the coming weeks. While buying a medium-sized country (Greece is on sale!) or nearly any publicly traded company would be fun, a special dividend and share buybacks are likely to rule the day.

Stay tuned to The Fool for more analysis on recent earnings and general market movements throughout the day.

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