US stocks turn mostly higher after Apple, Boeing and other big companies report results
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock indexes were mostly higher in early-afternoon trading Wednesday as investors weighed positive earnings from the technology industry against disappointing news from Boeing and other companies. Biotechnology stocks were among the biggest gainers.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,082 as of 1:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,986 and the Nasdaq composite rose 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,469.
BIG TECH: Apple reported higher quarterly profits after the market closed Tuesday, topping analysts' estimates. Shipments of iPhones increased 13 percent over the same period a year earlier. Sales of iPads slipped. Apple rose $2.62, or 3 percent, to $97.33.
Meanwhile, Apple's competitor Microsoft also reported results Tuesday evening that topped analysts' forecasts. The software giant said it earned an adjusted profit of 66 cents a share compared with the 60 cents a share analysts were looking for. Microsoft was up 22 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $45.05.
Facebook will report quarterly results after the U.S. market closes.
GAME OVER: Electronic Arts fell $1.97, or 5 percent, to $36.45. The video game publisher reported a 51 percent rise in earnings late Tuesday, but the company said it will have to delay the release of the latest version of its popular "Battlefield" title until 2015, missing the crucial holiday season.
NO LIFT: Boeing fell $3.07, or 2.5 percent, to $126.68, the biggest decline in the Dow, after the aircraft maker reported revenue that missed analysts' expectations.
TURNING INWARD: Investors are focusing their attention on U.S. corporations this week instead of the geopolitical turmoil in Israel and Ukraine. However, strategists say that with markets trading near all-time highs, any bad news could be worrisome for U.S. stocks.
"Geopolitical flare-ups, European bank-related market jitters, today's stretched valuations and relatively low market volatility leave (the market) vulnerable to bad news," Blackrock's Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich, wrote in a note to investors.
BIOTECH SOARS: Puma Biotechnology, a drug development company, soared after the company disclosed positive trial results for an experimental breast cancer drug. Puma rose $170.50, or 289 percent, to $230. Biogen Idec rose $32.93, or 11 percent, to $336.40 after the company's quarterly results came in above investors' expectations.
BONDS AND OIL: Prices for U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.45 percent from 2.47 percent late Tuesday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 39 cents to $102.78 a barrel.