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1. Apple jumps on surprise China success
How 'bout dem Apples? Shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) jumped 2% Wednesday after CEO Tim Cook said the new deal with China Mobile resulted in record iPhone sales last quarter -- that's 1.2 million pre-orders, baby.
2. Bank of America kills it with $3.4 billion earnings
Twenty-nine cents per share! It's not an eye-grabbing headline. But it was for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , since that was better than its 3 cents per share last year. The 867% jump in fourth-quarter profits impressed Wall Street and boosted the stock price 2.3% Wednesday.
Not getting sued is something to celebrate in the fourth quarter of 2013. The year before, B of A set aside $3.8 billion of could-be-profits for future legal settlements (this year it was only $2.3 billion). It also had lower costs in the very important mortgage writing business. Proud Charlotte, N.C., bars are dishing out free drinks for its American housing giant.
High fives for Brian Moynihan after leading the company to increased revenues in all five of its business units in 2013. Cost-cutting is working (46,000 people have been laid off since he took over in 2010), and his key growth areas are growing. The result is the highest annual profit ($11.4 billion) since 2007.
It's a happy world when the World Bank gives you the thumbs-up. The Washington-based institution raised its forecast for planet Earth's economic growth from 3% (set last June) to 3.2% for this year. The New Year is already smelling good.
- Weekly jobless claims
- Earnings: Goldman Sachs, Intel
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