US Stocks Week Ended April 20, 2012
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced for the first time in three weeks as first-quarter earnings results thus far were for the most part in line with analysts' expectations with no major disappointments. Investors however decided to take some risk off the table with the elections looming in France next week in which a result that could be viewed as a negative for capital markets is seen as a possibility. The S&P 500 rose only slightly more than a half a percent and the Nasdaq finished the week in negative territory as shares of Apple fell more than 5% as the bearish momentum of recent weeks continued to plague the shares. Bearish traders also focused on shares of companies that have similarly experienced large run-ups in price this year. Shares of and Chipotle Mexican Grill each fell this past week even as the latter reported impressive first-quarter earnings results. Shares of Argentinean oil producer YPF collapsed last week after the country's government began the process of expropriating 51% of the company without due compensation and also eliminating the dividend. Online-auction website Ebay reported a 20% rise in first-quarter earnings from a year ago which boosted the shares over 10% for the week. Positive results from a trial for an oral treatment for hepatitis C drove shares of Gilead over 10%. Weak demand caused flash memory maker Sandisk to report a 24% drop in quarterly revenue and to lower their 2012 revenue forecast which sent the shares tumbling. Looking ahead to the coming week, investors will be watching the French elections on Tuesday and also any insight into the economic health of the U.S. from the Fed which ends its two-day meeting on Wednesday. Texas Instruments, ConocoPhilips, Boeing, Apple, United Technologies and Starbucks are among the many companies due to report earnings this week.
Posted on Monday, April 23, 2012 @ 8:11 AM

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