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Stock market news today, April 23, 2014: U.S. stocks jumped yesterday on strong earnings reports and a deal frenzy across the healthcare sector. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were in the black for the sixth consecutive trading session.
They'll go for seven on yet another big day of earnings reports.
Here are the five stories you need to know to make your Wednesday profitable.
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, April 23, 2014
- Pay to Fail: According ABC News, activist investor Bill Ackman agreed to pay a former Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) executive up to $3.6 million over 10 years to become a whistleblower, in the event that the executive lost his job. The former executive left Herbalife in 2011, and signed a confidentiality agreement with Ackman last June. Since 2012, Ackman has accused the company of being a Ponzi scheme, while taking a short position against it. Ackman's firm Pershing Square Capital Management has paid this former executive $80,000 so far, according to the former employee's lawyer.
- 500 Million and Growing: The acquisition of the year is doing wonders for Facebook Inc. (NYSE: FB). Yesterday, WhatsApp announced it surpassed 500 million users around the world. According to company statistics, users now exchange 20 billion messages and 700 million photos every day. The company's growth has come mainly from emerging economies like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia. In February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprisingly purchased the mobile app company for $19 billion.
- Taxes Hit Amazon.com: It turns out that "tax fairness" is paying its price. According to a report by Ohio State University, customers are spending less on Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) in states that are collecting online sales taxes. The study issued this week called "The Amazon Tax" shows that the company's sales fell at the onset of these online taxes. In tax collecting states, households reduced spending on Amazon by approximately 10% compared to non-tax-collecting states. And the largest purchases were first on the chopping block. Online purchases of more than $300 fell by 24% after these taxes were instituted.
- The Chinese Chicken: Emerging markets continue to be strong places for global food brands. KFC owner Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) said that first-quarter sales surged in China by 9%. The company was highly concerned about growth in its largest market, given increased demand problems stemming from a bird flu outbreak and growing concerns about Chinese meat production.
- Fuel Exports Surge: The Energy Information Administration announced this week that energy exports from the United States are surging. Their money report indicates that exports of refined products, which include gasoline and propane, increased by 10% in 2013. Last year, the U.S. averaged 3.5 million barrels per day, and exports surged to 4.3 million in December, the first time ever that it hit that level for a month.
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U.S. Economic Calendar April 23, 2014
- MBA Purchase Applications at 7 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 5-Yr Note Auction at 1:00 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings April 23, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is $10.19.
- Consensus earnings per share for Facebook Inc. (NYSE: FB) is $0.24.
- Consensus earnings per share for EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is $0.27.
- Consensus earnings per share for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) is $1.40.
- Consensus earnings per share for Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is $1.54.
- Consensus earnings per share for Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is $1.02.
- Consensus earnings per share for Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) is $2.58.
- Consensus earnings per share for General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is $1.63.
- Consensus earnings per share for Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) is $1.14.
- Consensus earnings per share for Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI) is $0.65.
- Consensus earnings per share for Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) is $0.74.
- Consensus earnings per share for Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) is $0.70.
- Consensus earnings per share for Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) is $0.15.
- Consensus earnings per share for Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY) is $0.45.
- Consensus earnings per share for Praxair Inc. (NYSE: PX) is $1.51.
- Consensus earnings per share for Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is $0.29.
- Consensus earnings per share for E*TRADE Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: ETFC) is $0.23.
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