The stock markets in the United States rallied today, driven by the positive performances from companies reporting their quarterly financial results. The upward movement of the markets was also propelled by increased consumer confidence.

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Data from the Conference Board index of consumer confidence climbed to 80.7 points in January compared with the 77.5 points recorded in the previous month. Economists polled by Bloomberg estimated 78 points.

With regard to corporate earnings, Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capita observed that the “earnings looked pretty good.” According to him, “The economy is in the process of being self-reinforcing and it can handle the modest amount of tapering we’re planning to do.”

On the other hand, Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC commented, “The ride probably will not be as smooth as we have seen in the last couple years. “We’ve had a pretty decent pullback here in equity prices.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,928.75 (+0.57%)
  • S&P 500- 1,792.48 (+0.61%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,097.96 (+0.35%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,137.66 (+0.88%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,038.60 (+0.80%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,572.33 (+0.33%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,406.91 (+0.62%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,980.16 (-0.17%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,960.64 (-0.07%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,219.85 (+0.18%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) dropped more than 8% to as low as $502.08 per share today. The decline was primarily caused by the weak revenue outlook provided by the iPhone and iPad maker yesterday. Investors ignored the strong financial results of the tech giant—$13.1 billion profit, $57.6 billion revenue, and 51 million iPhones sold for the quarter as they are more concerned with the future growth of the company amid strong competition. The report that Icahn bought additional shares worth $500 million did not help lift the stock price of Apple today.

The shares of Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) declined more than 11% to as low as $50.50 per share after reporting lower-than-expected second quarter financial results. The company delivered $1.39 earnings per share on $3.53 billion revenue, lower than the consensus estimate of analysts at $3.56 billion revenue.

Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) gained 8% to as high as $58.50 per share today after the company increased its earnings guidance in the range of $3.10 to $3.40 per share for fiscal 2013. The company also projected to generate around $6.65 billion to $6.85 billion revenue this year. The designer and manufacturer of specialty trucks posted first quarter profit of $54.9 million or $0.63 earnings per share, up from its $46.3 million profit or $0.51 earnings per share in the same period a year ago.