Trader Talk

The Street Finds Some Life


(* Editor's Note: Bob Pisani is off today, this blog was written by his producer, Robert Hum*)

Stocks finished well off their highs of the morning, but still managed to shrug off numerous downbeat earnings reports and several large job cut announcements to end the day in positive territory.

Having been up over 150 points this morning following the better-than-expected existing home sales report, the markets moved lower early in the afternoon, as financials reversed course, with their declines pacing the markets’ move down.

After the bell…

American Express is trading up 5% after reporting its earnings essentially inline with the street’s estimates. However, Q4 earnings still fell 72% from last year as card member spending fell 10%. The company’s CEO says he continues to be “cautious about the economic outlook through 2009 and expects card member spending to remain soft.”

Texas Instruments is up 4% after hours following its surprising Q4 earnings report. Excluding charges, the company earned $0.21 per share during the quarter – way ahead of both analysts estimates ($0.12) and the company’s own reduced guidance ($0.10-$0.16) that it gave back in early December.

Despite the earnings beat, revenues fell 30% from a year ago, with broad declines across all of its divisions. Additionally, the CEO stated that the company is “not counting on a near-term economic rebound for improvement.” With demand expected to weaken further as a result of the sluggish economy, the company also announced it will eliminate 3,400 jobs, or about 12% of its workforce. For the first quarter, Texas Instruments sees EPS coming in at a loss of $0.08 to a profit of $0.06 (excluding charges) vs. the street’s expectation of a profit of $0.04.



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