1-28-14 9:54 AM EST | Email Article

By Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch


NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. stock market opened mostly higher, buoyed by upbeat earnings results from Ford Motor Co., Pfizer Inc. and DuPont, while disappointing Apple Inc. numbers capped gains on the Nasdaq Composite.


The S&P 500 (SPX) opened 7 points, or 0.4% higher at 1,788.60, on track to snap a three-day skid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) began the day up 80 points, or 0.5% at 15,916.78, on track to break a five-day losing streak.


The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) rebounded from earlier losses and was up 1 point at 4,085.


The Nasdaq 100 index (NDX) , which includes the 100 largest non-financial equities listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, fell 9 points, or 0.3% to 3,492.43.


Stock index futures had pared gains after disappointing data on durable goods orders and a small drop in house prices in December. At 10 a.m. Eastern Time, the Conference Board will issue its consumer confidence index for January, which is forecast to fall slightly to 77.6 from 78.1, partly due to a sharp pullback for Wall Street. Spotlight on economy: Businesses and consumers weigh in.


Investors will also focus on the Federal Reserve, which begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday. Most analysts expect the Fed continue to reduce its bond-buying program by $10 billion a month.


Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods sank 4.3% in December and posted the biggest drop since midsummer, largely because of fewer bookings for autos, large aircraft and military hardware, the government said Tuesday. The disappointing report -- economists expected a 1.8% increase in orders -- could lead to a reduction in forecasts for fourth-quarter gross domestic product.


U.S. home prices ticked down 0.1% in November, the first decline in a year, with nine of 20 tracked cities posting price drops as winter approached, according to data released Tuesday.


In earnings news, Apple(AAPL) reported disappointing iPhone sales in its fiscal second-quarter report after Monday's close and shares sold off in after-hours trade. Shares dropped 8% on Tuesday, weighing on technology-oriented indexes.


Ford (F) shares rose 1.2% after the company beat analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue. The firm reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share and a rise in revenue to $37.6 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share and $34.96 billion in revenue. The automaker also said it expects 2014 pretax profit of between $7 billion and $8 billion.


DuPont(DD) shares were up 0.2% after the company reported profit doubled in the fourth quarter year-to-year and beat Wall Street expectations. The chemical company said it will start a $5 billion share-repurchase program.


Pfizer (PFE) shares gained close to 2.7% after the pharmaceutical company's results were above analysts' forecasts. Adjusted earnings rose 22% to 56 cents per share, and revenue fell 2% to $13.56 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 52 cents per share on sales of $13.36 billion


Shares of Seagate Technology Inc. (STX) fell more than 7.7% after the computer data-drive company posted a profit below Wall Street forecasts late Monday.


Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) will report after the U.S. market close Tuesday.


More must-reads from MarketWatch:


Orders for durable goods fizzle in December


The S&P 500 would have done better without Apple


Apple's beating, TPDH and America's 'false dawn' recovery

-Anora Mahmudova; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-28-14 0954ET

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Morningstar - 2014/1/28 - U.S. stocks edge higher; Apple weighs on Nasdaq
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