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Stocks drop; 21st Century Fox earns beat

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 02:33

Stocks took a hit as crude prices sank; Growth in cable and film drove profits at 21st Century Fox; YUM brands points to trouble in China; Under Armour buying MyFitnessPal. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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An earnings and revenue beat for Rupert Murdoch's 21st century Fox, thanks to growth in its cable and film studio business. Yum Brands quarterly earnings fell short of forecasts, the fast food giant pointing to continued problems in China. And Under Armour profits surged 36 percent. The sports apparel company is getting into the digital health and fitness business- buying the MyFitnessPal app and Endomondo. News from Europe weighed on U.S. stocks late in the trading session. The ECB said it will no longer accept Greek bonds as collateral. The major indexes closing mostly- though Disney a bright spot after strong earnings. Crude resumed its steep fall after a four-session rally. But Chase Commercial Bank head economist Jim Glassman thinks oil may have bottomed. SOUNDBITE: JIM GLASSMAN, HEAD ECONOMIST, CHASE COMMERCIAL BANK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "From my own thinking about the economy, I'm assuming oil prices will slowly drift back to about $75 a barrel. You know, that may take a year or two." Gilead Sciences said it's giving discounts on its hepatitis C drugs that were steeper than expected. Investors sold off shares of Gilead and other Hep C makers. Staples is buying Office Depot for $6.3 billion. Regulators nixed their merger attempt eight years ago, but experts think they'll get the blessing this time because of added competition from the likes of Amazon.com and Wal-Mart. Staples' shares fell. Office Depot rose. Catfood is catnip to J.M. Smucker. Shares of the maker of Folgers coffee and Smucker's jam rose a day after it announced plans to pay $3.2 billion for the company behind Meow Mix, Big Heart Pet Brands. What makes it attractive: more U.S. households have pets than kids. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules that would treat ISPs like public utilities. The rules would ban them from blocking and slowing down Internet content and charging companies for faster delivery of their content. But it also sought to preserve incentives for ISPs to invest in networks. Ralph Lauren stock plummeted after the fashion house cut its revenue growth forecast, again, blaming the strong dollar. Also fingering the dollar: Merck. Sales and a forecast that fell shy of Wall Street's targets. GM shares zoomed higher on rising profit that crushed analysts' estimates. In Europe, stocks closed mostly higher.

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Stocks drop; 21st Century Fox earns beat

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 - 02:33