Saturday, April 25, 2009

US Stocks: Weekly Round Up (April 20-24)

. Saturday, April 25, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock indices finished the week mixed as investors sifted though a barrage of earnings report.For the week, Dow was down 55.04 points or 0.68%. S&P fell 3.37 points or 0.39%, while Nasdaq Composite settled with a weekly gain of 21.22 points or 1.27%.

Few companies that managed to exceed or match consensus earnings estimates include IBM (NYSE: IBM), DuPont (NYSE: DD), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), AT&T (NYSE: T), McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), American Express (NYSE: AXP), (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and Ford (NYSE: F).

However, earnings report of 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF), Merck (NYSE: MRK) fell short of expectations.

Meanwhile, Federal regulators on Friday unveiled the broad criteria they used to assess the financial health of the nation’s 19 biggest banks on Friday, but gave little details to distinguish a weak bank from the strong one.

Networking giant Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) announced on Monday that it has agreed to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) for $9.50 a share in a deal valued at $7.4 billion, just days after a reported deal by IBM (NYSE: IBM) collapsed. Oracle will pay a premium of $2.81 a share, or 42%, over Sun Micro's closing price of $6.69 a share on Friday.

Better than expected data eased concerns about the health of economy. A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits increased by 27,000 to 640,000 in the week ending April 18, matching consensus estimates. Housing market is finally showing some signs of life. According to U.S. Census Bureau, builders sold 356,000 new single-family homes in March, down 30.6% from a year ago and 0.6% from previous month. National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales fell 3 percent to an annual rate of 4.57 million in March month from a downwardly revised pace of 4.71 million units in February. A release by Department of Commerce showed that orders for durable goods fell 0.8% in March.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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