Stock Market News Today, Oct. 28: Stocks are weighed in morning trade, reversing out of earlier gains as investors are hit with a disappointing report on pending home sales despite a more positive report on industrial production.
Pending home sales slid 5.6% in September to the lowest level in nine months, likely weighed by higher housing prices and higher interest rates.
Gold prices are up today as investors brace for more information regarding the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering policy. The Fed is expected to announce no change to quantitative easing (QE) after its two-day meeting ends Wednesday.
Besides the Fed, there are some major earnings to watch this week...
Earnings to Watch
Among the major stock market news regarding earnings, Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is down about 3% at $45.26 today after it disappointed the Street with a third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.92, besting the analyst consensus of $0.88 per share. But sales were $11.0 billion, short of the expectations for $11.1 billion.
For the full year, Merck narrowed its EPS target to a range of $3.48 to $3.52, versus expectations of $3.48 per share.
Also, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is set to release its third quarter earnings after the closing bell today. Analysts expect the tech giant to report $7.89 per share in earnings on $36.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, which includes the release of a new iPhone model and new iPad tablets.
Consumer Stock Market News Today: Ruby Tuesday, IMAX
Ruby Tuesday Inc. (NYSE: RT) shares sunk more than 5% today to a new 52-week low, trading around $5.65. The restaurant chain said its board chairman is resigning and will be replaced by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Buettgen.
And J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is getting a strong boost as CEO Mike Ullman reiterates its sales guidance for the third quarter. JCP is up about 6% today as Ullman reviewed the changes he has made so far at the struggling retailer during a speech at the Women's Wear Daily Apparel Summit today.
Finally, IMAX Corp. (NYSE: IMAX) shares are still fairly flat today even as it says it has acquired a stake and a significant option position in PRIMA Cinema Inc., whose proprietary systems transmit current theatrical releases from major studios like Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures.
Analyst Actions: Morgan Stanley Upgrades Bristol-Myers
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) is up about 6% as its shares were upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, which raised its price target to $60 from $45. JP Morgan reiterated its Buy on BMY today after the healthcare firm recently reported positive data for its lung-cancer treatment.
And, shares of NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE: NQ), struggling with accusations that it significantly doctored its revenue, are getting some relief from Macquarie, which maintained its Outperform rating today, saying the fact that the stock is down 50% from a week ago has offered a good buying opportunity.
Today, NQ is trading up nearly 20% at $8.54.
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