Despite trading down most of the day, and finishing slightly higher at 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) should have gone up much more. The index is price-weighted according to its components and, therefore, IBM (NYSE: IBM ) holds a disproportionate effect over the index, contributing one-sixth of the overall weight. The tech giant fell 8.3% today after missing earnings last night; that alone dropped the Dow by more than 1%. Aside from IBM, however, the index was overwhelmingly positive. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 stocks finished the day higher, and its peers, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, both finished up 0.9% and 1.2%, respectively.
Still, the market seemed bullish after a number of strong earnings reports after hours last night including Google and Microsoft.
General Electric shares were off 4.1%, as the conglomerate posted adjusted earnings of $0.35, in line with estimates and up from $0.29 a year ago. Revenue was down slightly, from $35.2 billion, to $35 billion, but still ahead of estimates. However, poor results in its industrial segments shook investors, as the company said that profits in its industrial equipment and services divisions fell 6% and 11%, respectively. Weakness in Europe also weighed on the industrial giant, as revenue from across the Atlantic was down 17%.
Meanwhile, stock of the Golden Arches was off 2%, as same-store sales declined 1% in the quarter, and the fast-food chain said April numbers are tracking similarly. Comparable sales were down in all three of its major regions -- the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Earnings per share for the quarter moved up to $1.26 -- $0.01 below estimates -- and overall revenue rose slightly by 0.9%, to $6.61 billion, beating estimates of $6.59 billion.
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