US stocks on pace for fourth winning week
A positive day today, or even a mildly negative one, would give the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq their fourth consecutive week of gains, with July on track to perhaps chalk up the biggest monthly gains of 2013 for stocks. At the moment, the S&P 500 has its biggest gain for any single month since October 2011. The Street's positive mood, however, could be dampened by disappointing earnings reports from Google and Microsoft.
Those earnings may get even more focus than usual today, given the lack of any economic data on the calendar and no Ben Bernanke testimony before Congress after two days of appearances on Capitol Hill.
The pace of earnings slows down a bit today, but we will get the latest numbers from Dow component General Electric (GE), as well as Baker Hughes (BHI), Honeywell (HON), Interpublic Group (IPG), LabCorp (LH), Schlumberger (SLB), Whirlpool (WHR), and SunTrust Banks (STI).
Among our stocks to watch today:
Google (GOOG) reported second quarter profit of $9.56 per share, excluding certain items, below estimates of $10.78. Revenues were also short, as ad prices weakened and losses increased from Google's Motorola mobile phone business.
Microsoft (MSFT) earned $0.66 per share, excluding certain items, for its fiscal fourth quarter, nine cents below estimates, and revenues were below consensus. Slowing personal computer sales hurt its Windows business, and Microsoft also took a $900 million charge for its inventory of unsold Surface tablet computers.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) reported second quarter profit of $2.82 per share, one cent above estimates, with revenues beating consensus. Same-store sales were up a better than expected 5.5 percent for the quarter.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lost $0.09 per share for its second quarter, smaller than the $0.12 loss expected by analysts, with revenues above forecasts. The chipmaker also forecast stronger than expected revenue for the current quarter, but also said its gross margins would fall.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) earned $3.90 per share for its second quarter, below estimates of $4.04, with revenues falling short as well. The maker of surgical robots also forecast current quarter revenue below Street expectations, and said the FDA had sent it a warning letter following an inspection of its facilities last month.
Vodafone (VOD) reported a fiscal first quarter revenue decline of 3.4 percent, as competition increases in its European markets.
CBS (CBS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are in a dispute over fees in the New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles markets. That could mean that local CBS TV stations and the Showtime cable network could go dark on Time Warner Cable systems next week.
Vivus (VVUS) dissident shareholder First Manhattan now has a majority on the drug maker's board, following an agreement with the company. Former AstraZeneca CEO Tony Zook will become chief executive officer, in a resolution of the dispute centering around the launch of the diet pill Qsymia.
Best Buy (BBY) is cutting the price of Apple's (AAPL) MacBook Pro by $200, ahead of the back-to-school season.