Stocks Open Lower, Eye on Earnings

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors digested through a batch of earnings reports after the recent market rally that has the S&P 500 up to five-year highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately dropped 41.44 points, or 0.30%, to 13,937.86. The S&P 500 declined 3.56 points, or 0.24%, to 1,507.73 and the Nasdaq Composite index fell 5.82 points, or 0.18%, to 3,165.76.

CVS Caremark’s (NYSE:CVS) fourth-quarter earnings climbed 6 percent. It earned $1.13 billion, or 90 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with earnings of $1.06 billion, or 81 cents per share, in the same period in 2011.  Revenue climbed nearly 11 percent to $31.39 billion.

IntercontinentalExchange Inc.’s (NYSE:ICE) fourth-quarter earnings edged up 2.1%. For the quarter, ICE posted a profit of $129.5 million, or $1.76 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $126.8 million, or $1.73 a share. Total revenue declined 1.2% to $323.4 million.

Cummins Inc.’s (NYSE:CMI) fourth-quarter earnings sank 30%. Cummins reported a profit of $381 million, or $2.02 a share, down from $548 million, or $2.86 a share, a year earlier. Revenue dropped 13% at $4.29 billion.

Time Warner Inc.’s (NYSE:TWX) fourth-quarter earnings jumped 51%. Time Warner reported a profit of $1.17 billion, or $1.21 a share, versus $773 million, or 76 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was essentially flat at $8.2 billion.

The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion annually, the financially struggling agency says.

Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) will pay U.S. and British authorities $615 million and plead guilty to wire fraud in Japan to settle allegations it manipulated global benchmark interest rates.

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