- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A mixed bag of corporate earnings may mean a mixed opening for Wall Street Tuesday.

Futures prices, which give an idea of how the markets will open, also showed mixed results, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-laden Nasdaq both up less than 0.20 percent and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 down 0.02 percent. Wall Street closed mixed Monday.

Gloomy news awaited the markets in the form of January sales of vehicles and a report from the National Association of Realtors about pending home sales in December. Considering how the recession so far has dampened consumer spending, the news is not expected to be good.

Two of the nation’s biggest drug makers, Merck & Co. and Schering Plough showed profits for the final quarter of last year, as did Archer Daniels Midland Co., the food processor and ethanol producer. All beat analysts’ estimates.

But Dow Chemical Co. reported a loss of more than $1.5 billion and cell phone producer Motorola lost $3.6 billion during the same three-month period. Analysts had predicted a profit for Dow and thought Motorola would break even.

In the troubled banking sector, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., of Pittsburgh, also reported a loss because of charges accompanying its purchase of National City Corp., failing to meet analysts’ expectations. The bank has said it will cut 5,800 jobs after it buys National City.

Homebuilder H.R. Horton Inc. also reported a loss for the fourth quarter, but it was less than analysts thought it would be because the company cut costs.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide