Skip to Content
Midday Market Update

Stocks Mixed; Earnings Eyed

Mentioned: , , , ,

U.S. Market    
Stocks were slightly uneven at midday following a handful of corporate earnings reports. 

With the G-20 summit scheduled for later this week, G-7 finance ministers said they will maintain their stance on market-determined exchange rates and will not pressure Japanese policymakers from intentionally weakening the yen to help stimulate the country's economy. 

Stateside, much focus will be on President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. 

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported Tuesday that U.S. job openings fell to 3.62 million in December from November's level of 3.79 million. Openings were still 2% higher year over year. The department said there were fewer unemployed persons in December 2012 than the same time the previous year, while new hires also decreased. 

The Dow was 0.2% higher at midday, and the S&P 500 had gained 0.1%. The Nasdaq was down by 0.1%. 

Stocks on the Move
 Avon Products (AVP) posted an end to a tough year with its fourth-quarter results and acknowledged the current challenges. However, shares had soared by almost 20% as management said it  sees initial signs of stabilization

 Coca-Cola (KO) reported a 13% year-over-year gain in fourth-quarter earnings, alongside a 3.8% gain in revenue. But both readings fell short of expectations as overall increases in global sales volume couldn't offset weak results in Europe and China, though the firm expects input costs will have less of a negative impact in 2013. Shares were down by 3% at midday. 

 McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP) reported a year-over-year loss for the fourth quarter, including restructuring charges and other items, while total sales increased by 22%, though lower than expected. The firm's Standard & Poor's Rating Services business posted strong results, but that unit will be under close watch following a lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department into previous S&P ratings, a suit that the firm says lacks merit. Shares were up by 0.2% at midday. 

 Omnicom Group (OMC) shares were up by 1.5% at midday after the company reported better-than-expected gains in net income and revenue for the fourth quarter and also increased its dividend by one third. 

 Reynolds American (RAI) shares had slipped by 1% after its fourth-quarter profit fell on account of lighter cigarette volume and one-time charges. The firm, however, posted an upbeat outlook for 2013. 

Foreign Markets
The Nikkei 225 gained nearly 2% Tuesday following comments from Japanese officials regarding policy measures to stimulate growth. Markets in China remained closed for a holiday. 

European stocks improved across the board, with the FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC each gaining 1.0%, while the DAX was 0.3% higher. 

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.