S&P flat after IBM, Netflix and J&J report earnings
Stocks were rebounding from yesterday's selloff in early trading as fears appeared to ease regarding the new coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China. However, the move higher was short-lived and the major averages lost steam in the afternoon as Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Wuhan has suspended outbound flights, rail service and bus travel as the country ramps up its efforts to contain the illness. Meanwhile in the U.S., Netflix (NFLX), IBM (IBM) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) were at the forefront of investors' minds following their earnings reports last night and this morning.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA house price index rose 0.2% to 281.2 in November. Existing home sales rebounded 3.6% to a 5.54M home rate in December, which was better than expected. The Chicago Fed's national activity index for December fell 0.76 points to a negative 0.35 reading. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the EU nation intends to delay its tax on the digital business of large tech companies in exchange for a pledge from the U.S. to hold off on retaliatory sanctions.
TOP NEWS: Shares of IBM rose 3.4% following what Citi analyst Jim Suva called an "impressive" fourth quarter report. IBM trends are improving, says the analyst, though he keeps a Neutral rating on Big Blue as he waits to see if the company can improve its signings to return to more sustained positive growth.
Shares of Netflix slipped 3.6% after the company reported quarterly results last night. While Netflix beat on the top and bottom lines, the streaming giant gave disappointing guidance for the first quarter. Additionally, the company acknowledged increased competition in the U.S. that should become more intense globally after the Disney+ (DIS) service launches across Europe in March.
In other earnings news, Johnson & Johnson shares were in focus after the company reported Q4 results and provided guidance for fiscal 2020, with the company saying on its quarterly call that it is "well-positioned" to deliver above-market growth in 2020.
Apple's (AAPL) suppliers intend to start assembling a new low-cost iPhone in February and the company is expected to officially reveal the new phone as early as March, reported Bloomberg's Debby Wu and Mark Gurman.
In M&A news, Eaton (ETN) announced it has agreed to sell its Hydraulics business to Danfoss A/S, a Danish industrial company, for $3.3B in cash.
Meanwhile, Boeing (BA) CEO Dave Calhoun held a call with the media, during which he said the recommendations that pilots go through simulator training caused the decision to delay its timeline for when it expects the 737 MAX to return to service. Calhoun added that Boeing will keep paying its dividend despite the crisis, CNBC reported.
Additionally, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office confirmed that it filed a stipulation to dismiss with Tesla (TSLA) that recognizes that any Michigan resident may lawfully buy a Tesla and have it serviced in Michigan.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Abbott (ABT), which rose 2.4% after it reported quarterly results and provided fiscal 2020 guidance. Also higher after reporting quarterly results was Navient (NAVI), which gained 9.5%.
Among the notable losers was Arconic (ARNC), which slid 1.9% after Longbow analyst Chris Olin downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral. Also lower were FuelCell (FCEL) and Northern Trust (NTRS), which fell 22.9% and 3.3%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow fell 9.77, or 0.033%, to 29,186.27, the Nasdaq gained 12.96, or 0.14%, to 9,383.77, and the S&P 500 advanced 0.96, or 0.029%, to 3,321.75.