The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and ended the trading session with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) losing 0.02% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gaining 0.16% and 0.51%, respectively.

market news Morning News

Today, the Department of Commerce reported that new orders for durable goods increased by 2.6% or $6 billion to $234.8 billion in March. According to the agency, the shipments of manufactured durable goods rose by 1.1% or $2.5 billion to $236.6 billion last month. The shipments for transportation equipment increased 1.5% or $1 billion to $70 billion.

The agency also reported that unfilled orders for manufactured durable climbed 0.6% to $1,068 billion and the inventories of manufactured durable goods went up by 0.5% to $394.1 billion.  The non-defense new orders for capital goods increased 7.1% to $80.5 billion last month.

Reports regarding the escalating violence in Ukraine negatively affected the trading in the U.S. stock markets earlier today. President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine’s government for using force against pro-Russian separatists in the east.

Putin said, “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime. It will certainly have consequences for the people who make such decisions. This also concerns our intergovernmental relations.”

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergeu Shoigu announced plans for more military drills along the Ukraine border in response to the situation. There had been growing signs that the agreement reached by the diplomats representing Russia, Ukraine, United States and European Union is on the brink of failure.

In terms of corporate earnings, John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Fund Management told Bloomberg, “There’s no question earnings numbers were good, but there was some anticipation of it to a certain degree. I still tend to think, at the end of the day, that we’re going to see earnings to be the more important things that drives the market.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,498.41 (-0.02%)
  • S&P 500- 1,878.31 (+0.16 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,147.97 (+0.51%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,144.47 (-0.23%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,116.54 (-1.15%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,703.00 (+0.42%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,548.68 (+0.05%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,404.99 (-0.97%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,562.80 (+0.24%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,190.47 (-0.19%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose more than 8% to $567.77 per share after the iPhone and iPad maker better-than-expected financial results for its fiscal second quarter. The tech giant also boosted its share buybacks by $30 billion and quarterly dividend payment to $3.29 per share. In addition, Apple also announced a seven-for-one stock split, which would make its stock price approximately $75 per share and it will remove the hindrance to being included in the Dow average.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) gained nearly 2% to $105.28 per share after reporting first quarter earnings that exceeded the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts and raising its outlook for 2014. The largest manufacturer and mining equipment manufacturer posted $1.4 earnings per share on $13.24 billion revenue compared with the $1.23 earnings per share on $13.1 billion revenue forecasted by analysts.

On the other hand, the shares of Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZMH) climbed more than 11% to $101.97 per share after announcing its agreement to acquire Biomet Inc. for $13.4 billion in cash and stock.