Post Market News
Stocks that were active in U.S. trading on Friday include Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) and Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL).
- U.S.: Dow Jones: 14,534.11 (0.02%), S&P 500: 1,555.14 (0.88%), Nasdaq: 3,206.06 (1.25%)
- World Markets: Shanghai: 2,244.64 (+2.14%), Nikkei 225: 13,316.48 (+0.73%), Hang Seng Index: 22,013.57 (+2.33%), TSEC: 7,930.80 (+1.79%), FTSE 100: 6,286.59 (+0.69%), EURO STOXX 50: 2,575.16 (+0.77%), BSE Sensex: 19,016.46 (+1.52%)
- Metals: Gold: 1,392.50 (+0.75%), Silver: 23.24 (-0.27%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3062 (+0.10%), USD/JPY: 99.55 (+1.46%), GBP/USD: 1.5232 (-0.34%), USD/CAD: 1.0264 (-0.04%), USD/CNY: 6.1776 (-0.06%), AUD/USD: 1.0280 (-0.03%)
- 10 year U.S. Treasury: 1.70% (+0.01), 30 year U.S. Treasury: 2.89% (+0.01)
Market And Economy News
Markets closed higher today after three days of consecutive decline. Nasdaq was up 39.70 points to 3,206.06, S&P 500 rose 13.64 points to close at 1,555.25, but Dow Jones was down 3.03 points to 14,534.11. The slide decline in Dow Jones was due to a disappointing earnings report of IBM Corp. which has the highest weighting in the Dow. Asian and European markets also ended the day higher as SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) was up 2.14 percent, while HANG SENG INDEX soared 2.33 percent to 22,013.57.
Data showed that unemployment rates have fallen in most states, helped by housing recovery in March. Jobless rates in California fell to a four-year low, while in Nevada the unemployment rate declined from 11.6 percent to 9.7 percent.
Stocks In Focus
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX)
The Cambridge, MA-based pharmaceutical company was one of the largest percentage gainers of the day. Vertex announced today that the mid-stage study of its VX-661 drug for cystic fibrosis treatment showed positive results. VX-661, if taken in combination with ivacaftor, can significantly improve lung function in cystic fibrosis patients. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) shares closed the session 61.45 percent higher at $85.18.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)
The tech bellwether reported worse than expected first quarter results that sent shares sinking. The company earned $3.03 billion, or $2.70 per share in the first quarter on revenues of $23.41 billion. Revenues were down 5.1 percent in the latest quarter from the same period of last year. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a revenue of $24.62 billion with $3.05 in earnings. IBM shares tanked 8.28 percent to close the session at $190 per share.
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)
The country’s biggest industrial corporation reported a quarterly earning of 35 cents or $3.6 billion on revenues of $35 billion. Though aviation sales rose 4 percent and transportation sales jumped 12 percent, sales at the company’s main industrial business were down 6 percent. Additionally, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)’s European sales declined during the quarter. Analysts said that the company managed to pull out a steady performance, but weak industrial demand will be a big challenge for the company going forward. Shares slumped 4.06 percent to close at $21.75.
Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON)
Despite global economic uncertainty, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) reported solid first quarter results. The company’s net profit increased 16 percent to $966 million or $1.21 per share from $825 million or $1.04 a share in the same period of last year. Total revenues came at $9.3 billion. Earnings handily topped Wall Street estimates. At the end of the latest quarter, the company had $4.54 billion in cash. Honeywell shares were up 3.79 percent to end the session at $74.18.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)
There continues to be uncertainty around the company going private. In a crucial move, The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) withdrew its $25 billion offer to acquire the struggling PC maker. On the other hand, some of the company’s large shareholders continue to oppose the offer from Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) founder Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. Investors argue that Silver Lake Partners’ bid is not in the best interest of the company. Shares tanked 3.94 percent to close at $13.40.