The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 8, 2013

US stocks are little changed in early trading


From The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stocks were little changed in early trading, keeping the Dow Jones industrial average above 15,000 a day after it closed above the landmark level for the first time.  Markets have rallied this year, bolstered by encouraging economic data, record corporate earnings and ongoing support from central banks. So far, stocks have defied expectations that a sell-off would follow the spring surge.

Internet company AOL plunged $4.39, or 10.7 percent, to $36.97 after the company reported earnings that fell short of the forecasts of Wall Street analysts who follow the stock. Subscription revenue fell 9 percent.

Freight transporter C.H. Robinson Worldwide fell $4.45, or 7.4 percent, to $57.01 after the company reported earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations. The company said its profit margins were being squeezed. Analysts at Citigroup cut their earnings forecast and price target for the stock,

The Dow was down 10 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,046 as of 10:21 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The S&P 500 index was one point higher, or 0.1 percent, at 1,627. The Nasdaq composite gained seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,403.

Most companies have now reported first-quarter earnings. Financial analysts predict that earnings for S&P 500 companies will end up rising 5.1 percent versus the same period a year ago, according to S&P Capital IQ. Although that’s slower growth than the 7.7 percent growth of the previous quarter, earnings are expected to climb throughout the year.

Among other stocks making big moves:

— Whole Foods rose $7.87, or 8.6 percent, to $100.6 after the natural foods store chain said its fiscal second-quarter net income rose 20 percent. The company also raised its profit forecast for the full year.

— Electronic Arts jumped $2.09, or 11.4 percent, to $20.50 after the video game publisher projected profits for the current fiscal year that were higher than analysts were expecting.

In government bond trading the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 1.77 percent.

In commodities trading, the price of crude oil rose 46 cents, or $96.08 a barrel and gold rose $18.10, or 1.25 percent, to $1,467.10 an ounce.

The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.