The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

April 23, 2014

US stocks edge lower after a six-day rally

NEW YORK — The stock market slipped Wednesday after rallying for six straight days as investors worked through another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies. Intuitive Surgical was among those reporting disappointed results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,876 in the first half-hour of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,486 and the Nasdaq composite lost 29 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,132.

ROBOT REPAIR: Surgical robot make Intuitive Surgical dropped $36.76, or 8.7 percent, to $385.57. The company reported a 77 percent drop in first-quarter earnings. Intuitive Surgical sold only half has many robots in the last quarter as it did in the same period a year ago. The company warned two weeks ago that earnings would come in far below expectations this quarter, causing the stock to fall sharply from its recent high of $540.63 reached April 3.

FLYING HIGHER: Airline stocks were among the biggest advancers. Delta Air Lines rose $1.80, or 5 percent, to $36.68. Delta’s first-quarter earnings climbed after the company filled more seats on its planes and paid less for fuel. Boeing rose $3.25, or 2.5 percent, to $130.80. The company’s quarterly earnings beat expectations as it boosted airplane production.

THE $84,000 PILL: Gilead Sciences rose $2.26, or 3 percent, to $75.21 after the company reported a surge in first-quarter earnings. Gilead’s drug Sovaldi, a new  treatment for Hepatitis C, had $2.3 billion in sales in the first quarter alone, which beat the record for any drug in its first whole year on the market. While Sovaldi has a 90 percent success rate in curing Hepatitis C, the drug has a price of $1,000 per pill, or around $84,000 for a typical course of treatment.

GAME OF SHOWS: Netflix fell $10.70, or 3 percent, to $363. Time Warner and Amazon.com announced that HBO’s award-winning shows such as “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under” would be available exclusively for Amazon Prime subscribers, a big loss for Netflix. HBO had been one of the biggest holdouts in bringing its content to streaming video services. Time Warner rose $1.69, or 3 percent, to $66.62.

 

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