Markets Decline After Google Flubs Earnings Release

It's been an up-and-down day on the market thanks to mixed earnings and economic data. Right now the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) has fallen 0.15% near the end of trading, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down 0.34%.

New unemployment claims were disappointing this morning, coming in 23,000 higher than expectations at 388,000. But the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, an indicator of business-cycle peaks and troughs, rose 0.6%, which was better than expected. Neither inspired confidence for bears or bulls.

IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) continued to fall after its earnings report, declining 3.1% today. The only new news out for the day is a report that IBM will buy Israeli mobile-management software company Red Bend Software in a $250 million deal.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) rose 2.3% after reporting earnings that were in line with expectations. The addition of 1.8 million wireless subscribers was better than expected and has investors optimistic that the company will continue its steady growth. Verizon Wireless' 4G network is ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds, and customers are clearly willing to pay for the improved service.

Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) is up an impressive 3.8% after the company crushed expectations. The company reported operating profit of $2.22 per share, beating expectations of $1.60 from Wall Street.

The shock of the day was Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) midday earnings release. The company was set to release earnings after the market closed, but R.R. Donnelley filed the company's report in an apparent error somewhere in the company. Adjusted profit was $9.03 per share, versus estimates of $10.63, and the stock fell 9% as a result.

With economic and earnings results a mixed bag over the last month, investors need to focus on high-quality stocks. If you're looking for some long-term investing ideas, let me invite you to read the Fool's brand-new special report: "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." It's absolutely free, so just click here to get your copy today.


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