Despite a lack of major economic reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) had shed 115 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST Tuesday. Dow components Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ ) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) led their index lower after announcing a major deal. BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY ) was a notable outperformer: shares were up more than 8% early on Tuesday.
All quiet on the economic front
The market's deepening sell-off wasn't being driven by any major U.S. economic reports. In fact, there isn't much economic news set to be released this week at all. Apart from earnings reports, all that's on the calendar are the weekly jobless numbers on Thursday and some data on the state of the housing market.
Verizon beats on earnings, makes a deal with Intel
Despite reporting earnings that exceeded most analysts' expectations, Verizon Communications' shares were down more than 2.7% early in late morning trading Tuesday. For the fourth quarter, Verizon posted earnings per share of $0.66 on revenue of $31.07 billion -- both numbers beat consensus analyst expectations, but just slightly.
Verizon also announced that it would acquire Intel Media, a start-up business within the chip maker that had been working on a high-tech, Internet-based TV service. It isn't clear how much Verizon paid for Intel's technology, but on the surface the deal seems to make sense for both companies.
Intel's TV service was outside of its core business, while CEO Brian Krzanich has emphasized a strategy of keeping Intel focused primarily on chips. Selling its TV service allows Intel to hew to that vision. Verizon, meanwhile, has been pushing into cable TV with its FiOS service. Bundling Intel's technology should allow Verizon to give its cable customers a better, more high-tech TV experience.
Intel was down more than 2%.
BlackBerry rallies after analyst upgrade
BlackBerry's gain Tuesday seems to have been fueled by the U.S. Defense Department's announcement that it would allow 80,000 BlackBerry devices on its management system, alongside devices from its competitors.
Meanwhile, Citron Research on Friday made the case that BlackBerry shares could have a more than 50% upside from current levels. Citron believes BlackBerry will be successful in its transition to a company centered around enterprise services.
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