Stocks Finish Mixed; Apple Casts Shadow
Within the Dow, 23 of the index's 30 components finished in the green on Tuesday. Breadth in the broad market was positive as well with winners outpacing the losers by 2 to 1.
The biggest percentage gainer among the blue chips was AT&T, whose shares rose nearly 4%. Before the opening bell, the company easily beat Wall Street's earnings estimate with its performance boosted by strong wireless sales and its smartphone business.
The telecom giant brought in revenue of $31.82 billion, an increase of 1.8% from the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for sales of $31.85 billion. Excluding items, AT&T earned 60 cents a share, up from 57 cents a share in the prior year's quarter and above Wall Street's estimate of 57 cents.
IBM said its board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of 85 cents a share, up from a prior payout of 75 cents a share, payable June 9 to shareholders of record on May 10. The fresh $7 billion addition to its buyback program will bring IBM's total current repurchase authorization to $12.7 billion, and the company said it plans to request more buyback power from the board in October. Shares added 0.6% to close at $200.
Shares of 3M were popped by 1.6% after the maker of Post-It notes and Scotch brand adhesive tape reported first-quarter earnings of $1.12 billion, or $1.59 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $1.08 billion, or $1.49 a share. The latest quarter included a one-time charge of 4 cents a share.
Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.49 a share. Sales rose 2.4% to $7.5 billion. 3M also raised its 2012 profit view to a range of $6.35 to $6.50 a share.
A big mover to the downside was Netflix(NFLX) with shares tanking 14%. The DVD and streaming content company gave a weak subscriber outlook after Monday's closing bell. Its outlook for revenue of $873 million to $895 million in the second quarter was also a negative, offering downside to the current consensus view of $895.1 million.
Radioshack(RSH) was another big loser, tumbling more than 10% after it reported an unexpected loss.