Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



S&P 500 Breaks Winning Streak, but Apple and Amazon Are Big Winners

The S&P 500's six-session winning streak was snapped and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  dipped 13 points after a bad case of housing data on Wednesday.

1. Huge iPhone sales boost Apple earnings
  (NASDAQ: AAPL  )  is officially a phone company, as it reported $10.2 billion profits for the first quarter of 2014 mostly on iPhone sales. Profits and revenues were up from last year, but total iPhone sales killed analyst estimates, growing to 43.7 million from 37.4 million last year. The downside was the iPad and the ol' iPod -- sales dropped 16% for the former and another 51% for the latter (but everyone's asking -- who bought 2.8 million iPods in the quarter?).

Is Apple's business in decline? No way. Programmers are working on having Siri kick you in the groin in response to that question. The iPhone just became available to China Mobile, China's largest carrier, earlier this year, and sales were up 28% in the country with the most people.

It was a blitz of news packed into Apple's press release. To spoil shareholders with more Apple cash, the company is increasing its buyback of shares to $90 billion from $60 billion, and it's increasing the quarterly dividend to each shareholder to $3.29 per quarter. Finally, Apple is doing the splits. Seven-to-one, to be exact (Apple's not playing Twister). The share price is too big, so on June 2, every shareholder will get six new shares for every one existing, but they will be worth one-seventh the amount.

Get ready for the pop that will hit Apple stock tomorrow morning. Trading of the stock is up 8% since the markets officially closed at 4 p.m ET. Also get ready for a bigger-screened iPhone and a better TV product. Maybe an iWatch too (or another iSurprise). This huge quarter should keep the haters at bay for a while and let Tim Cook finally try to make his mark on the company with a new product.

2. Netflix drops big after major HBO-Amazon deal
The deal of the day goes to (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , which inked HBO to a licensing agreement that has us pumped to watch The Wire and order a case of jumbo-size Skippy peanut butter simultaneously. Under the agreement, HBO's first with an online video provider, the company will offer older programming to Amazon Prime's video-streaming service.

That's great news for Sopranos fans and God-awful news for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) shareholders. Just after the company reported solid earnings that sent the stock up 7% earlier this week, shares of Netflix dropped over 5% Wednesday on word that HBO had given its flower to Amazon.

The takeaway is that things are starting to heat up between Netflix and Amazon worthy of an HBO drama. For Amazon "Primers," these older shows will now be available to stream without an additional fee. And since Netflix just made clear that it's increasing prices for new members by at least $1 per month, Prime might end up being the cheaper option.

3. New home sales surprisingly drop 14.5%
Don't raise the roof, because sales of new homes nationwide were so bad last month, we want to watch reruns of MTV's Cribs just to feel better. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales fell 14% in March to reach an annual rate of 384,000 sales, their lowest level in eight months -- economists had been expecting the sales rate to rise 2.3%.

It ain't just winter weather that kept away homebuyers. Interest rates have been kept super low by the Federal Reserve's stimulus policies for years now to encourage economic growth -- but the improving economy over 2013 has seen the Fed scale back its stimulus plans, helping banks' interest rates inch up a tad this winter. And even barely higher interest rates have discouraged some buyers from taking out loans (aka mortgages) to buy Cribs-worthy palaces.

  • Weekly jobless claims
  • First-quarter earnings: Starbucks,, JetBlue

MarketSnacks Fact of the Day: In Norway, electric cars are exempt from tolls, can ride in bus lanes, and get to park and charge for free.

As originally published on

Will this stock be your next ten-bagger?
Give us five minutes and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with amazing potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303%! You don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2927274, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 11:57:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Market Snacks

MarketSnacks creates a single, simple, daily summary of what’s happened on Wall Street -- that you'll actually want to read.

Today's Market

updated 2 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASD 4,683.92 -49.58 -1.05%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/4/2015 4:30 PM
^DJI $16102.38 Down -272.38 -1.66%
AAPL $109.27 Down -1.10 -1.00%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
AMZN $499.00 Down -5.72 -1.13% CAPS Rating: ***
NFLX $98.79 Down -2.27 -2.25%
Netflix CAPS Rating: ***