Stocks Started Cautiously After Disappointing Earnings

U.S. stocks started off on a cautious note Friday, weighed by unease over Greek debt talks and some disappointing earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 33.45 points, or 0.26%, to 12,657.43. The S&P 500 fell 2.25 points, or 0.17%, to 1,312.25. The Nasdaq Composite lost 8.03 points, or 0.29%, to 2,780.30.

Google Inc’s quarterly results fell short of Wall Street’s heightened expectations. Google said on Thursday it earned $2.71 billion, or $8.22 per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $2.54 billion, or $7.81 per share, a year earlier. Google’s net revenue was $8.13 billion in the fourth quarter, versus $6.37 billion a year earlier.

General Electric Co. said Friday that its fourth-quarter earnings fell 18 percent as revenue declined after it sold its stake in the NBC network. It earned $3.73 billion, or 35 cents per share, compared with $4.54 billion, or 42 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue fell 8 percent to $37.97 billion.

General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) regained its title as the world’s top-selling automaker from Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp in 2011, but the U.S. company faces a challenge to stay on top this year as Toyota rebuilds its disaster-struck business.

Greece was closing in on an initial deal with private bond holders on Friday that would prevent it from tumbling into a chaotic default but lose investors up to 70 percent of the loans they have given to Athens.

Oil hovered above $100 a barrel Friday in Asia as signs of economic improvement in the U.S. and Europe were tempered by a rise in gasoline stocks. Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 28 cents at $100.67 a barrel at late afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.






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