Market Minute: BP, Beset by Lawsuits, Set to Jump on Strong Earnings


Pfizer flops, and BP is set to gain despite a slew of new lawsuits.

The S&P 500 rose 11 points yesterday to close above the record high set earlier this month, and it's poised to complete its sixth straight monthly gain. Dow Industrials jumped 106 points and the Nasdaq gained 27.

On the earnings scoreboard:

Shares of Pfizer (PFE) are set to slide after the company's operating net fell short of expectations. The world's biggest drug-maker also lowered its earnings and sales forecast for the full year.

The BP company logo.  Photographer: Daniel Hambury/Bloomberg News
Getty Images

BP (BP) is set to jump after earnings blew past expectations. Separately, the company has been hit by 2200 new lawsuits in recent weeks, related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill three years ago. Individuals and businesses are trying to beat a deadline to file new claims.

Insurance giant Aetna (AET) reports a four percent earnings decline, because of charges. But the company says sales and membership increased, and it raised its outlook for the full year.

Herbalife (HLF), the nutritional-supplement maker at the center of a power struggle between some big time investors, posted a 10 percent earnings gain. That topped expectations and the company raised its forecast for the full year.

Has Apple (AAPL) escaped from investors' doghouse? The stock is up sharply three days in a row. It closed Monday at $430 a share, up nearly $40 from the low hit less than two weeks ago. The latest driver is a rumor that the iPhone 5S could be available this summer.

Best Buy (BBY) is getting out of Europe. It's selling its 50 percent interest in Carphone, a joint venture there, for $775 million.

And Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting at which they're expected to continue their easy money program to encourage spending and hiring.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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