Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
NEW YORK (AP) — A rare earnings miss for IBM tugged the Dow Jones industrial average lower on Friday, while the rest of the market headed toward slight gains after a turbulent week.
Quarterly earnings for the country’s largest provider of computer services fell short of forecasts for the first time since 2005. IBM said delays in closing several large software and mainframe computer deals hindered sales.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points to 14,514, a slip of 0.2 percent. IBM, which posted results late Thursday, led the average lower, falling seven percent to $191.97.
Traders, like everyone else, were following the news out of Boston, where police were hunting for one of two brothers suspected in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings. One brother was killed in a gun battle with police overnight. But the news had no impact on markets, traders said.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9 points to 1,551, up 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq composite index gained 39 points to 3,206, up 1.2 percent.
For the week, both the S&P 500 and the Dow have lost more than 2 percent.
“Compared to the rest of the week, it looks like we’re going to slide into the weekend on a quiet note,” said Jim Baird, Partner and Chief Investment Officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors
By many measures, the financial markets have endured a turbulent five days. News that economic growth had slowed in China set off a plunge in commodity prices on Monday, leading the stock market to its worst day of the year. Gold dropped below $1,400 an ounce for the first time in two years.
The stock market bounced back the next day, then fell again on Wednesday, the third worst day for the stock market this year.
In other Friday trading, Microsoft gained 3 percent to $29.77, countering IBM’s weight on the Dow. The software giant reported earnings late Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates and showed solid results from its Office, software tools and Xbox divisions.
Google’s stock rose 3 percent to $787.98 after its quarterly profit beat Wall Street’s estimates. The leader in Internet search boosted prices for ads distributed to smartphones and tablet computers.
Most big corporations have managed to beat analysts’ low expectations for first-quarter profits. Of the 104 companies that turned in results through Friday morning, 70 have trumped forecasts, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Analysts estimate that earnings for companies in the S&P 500 inched up just 2 percent over the previous year, a slowdown from the 7.7 percent rise in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In the market for U.S. government bonds, Treasury prices slipped, nudging yields up from their lowest levels of the year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 1.70 percent from 1.68 percent late Thursday.
Matthew Craft is a freelance writer in New York.More Matthew Craft.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.