* U.S. durable goods orders unexpectedly plunge in December
* Apple shares down on muted iPhone sales, outlook
* Federal Reserve to begin two-day policy meeting
* Indexes: Dow up 0.4 pct; S&P 0.5 pct; Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Jan 28 U.S. stocks edged up on Tuesday
after a three-session decline on the S&P 500, but an unexpected
drop in durable goods orders in December and disappointing
iPhone sales at tech giant Apple kept investors on edge ahead of
a two-day Federal Reserve meeting.
Apple Inc shares fell nearly 7 percent to $512.70 a
day after iPhone sales in the holiday shopping season missed
lofty expectations and the company forecast weak revenue for the
At least 12 brokerages lowered their price targets on
Apple's shares, reflecting concerns that it was becoming harder
to sell high-end phones as markets become saturated. The stock
had gained a quarter of its value in the last six months.
Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly
fell 4.3 percent in December as did a gauge of planned business
spending on capital goods, which could cast a shadow on an
otherwise bright economic outlook.
The durable goods report precedes a two-day policy meeting
of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to announce
another $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond-buying
"Investors have suffered a significant bruising over the
past several trading sessions and the market is due for a
bounce," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at
Interactive Brokers LLC in New York.
"On the negative side, this report (durable goods orders)
does smack of a slowdown in the U.S. economy, a feature missing
from other recent data with the exception of a weather-distorted
payroll reading," he said.
The S&P 500 has fallen for three consecutive sessions on
concerns about more withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus and
slowing Chinese growth, which amplified country-specific
political turmoil from Turkey to Thailand. Last week, the broad
market index posted its worst percentage loss since June 2012.
In a rebound on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average
rose 61.14 points or 0.39 percent, to 15,899.02, the S&P
500 gained 8.12 points or 0.46 percent, to 1,789.68 and
the Nasdaq Composite added 6.035 points or 0.15 percent,
In other earnings, Pfizer Inc reported
better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by sales of
new treatments for cancer, nerve pain and arthritis, sending
shares up 2.7 percent at $30.47.
Another bright spot was data that showed U.S. consumer
confidence rose in January as consumers grew more optimistic
about both business conditions and the job market, according to
a private sector report released on Tuesday.
U.S. single-family home prices in November rose slightly
more than expected from the previous month, while the increase
from a year ago was the biggest in almost eight years, a closely
watched survey said on Tuesday.