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After two big down days in the past week, investors are likely figuring that any bounce upward is a good one. But, despite strong data on durable goods orders and a slight gain for pending home sales, investors were clearly nervous about what tonight's key earnings reports from tech giants Amazon.com and Apple would bring. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) finished with a gain of 26 points, while broader markets saw similarly small gains.
But several stocks in the Dow posted substantial losses. Boeing (NYSE: BA ) fell more than 1.5%, with Fool contributor Travis Hoium noting that a supplier had to take big charges on some of the products it supplies to Boeing. The more important long-term consideration for the aircraft manufacturer is whether it can iron out its production in order to get deliveries to customers on time. If it does, then the sky's the limit for Boeing shares.
The weather was the enemy of Travelers (NYSE: TRV ) , which also dropped about 1.5%, on news that Hurricane Sandy could prove to be an even costlier storm than last year's Hurricane Irene. With what some have called a "Frankenstorm" predicted to take an unusual turn westward rather than taking a more typical path out into the Atlantic, sustained gale-force winds, heavy rain, and even wet snowfall could cause power outages and plenty of property damage next week.
Finally, Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) lost 1.3%. Fool contributor Matt Thalman noted that, despite the modest rise in existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors said that the figures fell below its expectations. Given Home Depot's reliance on a healthy market for housing, investors have to hope that continuing advances in home prices are more indicative of the market's status.
Earnings aren't over yet
Quarterly reports can have a huge impact on stocks in the short run, but the key is to incorporate new information into an existing framework. Let the Fool's premium report on Apple give you the valuable backstory on the iDevice giant in your quest to figure out whether Apple is a buy. Ongoing updates are part of the deal, which will bring you up to date on today's earnings release, and the next year's worth of future events. Claim your copy today by clicking here now.