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Stocks soft after hard durables drop

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 01:47

April 24 - Summary of business headlines: Fall in durable goods orders hampers Wall Street; Boeing manages Dreamliner crisis well; Ford North America sales best in decade; Sales lag, profit warning for Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm beats sales estimate; Zynga disappoints. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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Wall Street basically pauses following a three-session rally. The Dow shed 43 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were little changed on the day. There was economic unease following a report showing the biggest drop in orders for durable goods in seven months. But results from the likes of Boeing limited the downside. First-quarter earnings surged 20 percent. And Boeing is standing by full-year sales and profit targets. The company is finding ways to offset the cost of fixing its grounded fleet of 787 Dreamliners. Ford's North American sales were the best in more than a decade. Earnings topped estimates. On the other hand, Procter and Gamble missed sales forecast. Earnings beat, but the consumer products giant behind Tide soap and dozens of others products - expecting profits to fall this quarter due to higher spending. Looking at stock reaction: Boeing gained 3 percent. Ford was down slightly. Procter and Gamble took its biggest tumble in more than three years. After the bell, sales at Qualcomm top the consensus with earnings in-line with forecasts for the mobile chip provider. And social gaming company Zynga's results show users are disappearing across several metrics. One final piece of tech news - Microsoft is likely to unveil a refresh to its Xbox gaming console at an event on May 21. Shares of the company jumped nearly 4 percent after invitations were sent out. In European action - stocks rallied for day number four, fueled by hopes of a rate cut next week by the European Central Bank.

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Stocks soft after hard durables drop

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 01:47

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