The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has lost 20 points at the outset of trading. Last Wednesday the Dow notched its 15th record close of 2014, and it's sitting just 0.2% below that high-water mark. Still, overseas markets pointed to a potentially weak day ahead for stocks: Japan's Nikkei index lost 1% overnight while European shares were lower by 0.6% as of 9:00 a.m. EDT
Thanks in part to a spike in drilling activity in the U.S., Halliburton today booked a huge boost in second-quarter profit. Earnings grew 25% year over year to $0.91 a share as sales in the North American region grew 11%. Profit rose at a much faster pace there, up 31%. CEO Dave Lesar said in a press release that management is expecting more improvement ahead for the North American region, with "margins approaching 20%" in the third quarter as the company works to bulk up its hydraulic fracturing fleet to meet growing demand. Most of Halliburton's other markets logged improvements as well, with soft results out of Mexico and Brazil being the only weak spots in a global story of solid growth. The stock is up modestly in early trading.
Hasbro today posted a slightly disappointing 8% sales growth figure for its fiscal second quarter. The toys and games maker's revenue improved to $829 million, which was just below analysts' targets. Consistent with recent trends, international markets booked gains while the U.S. and Canada region shrunk. However, Hasbro's quarterly profit met expectations, with adjusted earnings rising 24% year over year to $0.36 a share. Key to that boost was a nice contribution from the fledgling entertainment and licensing division, which booked a quadrupling of earnings. CEO Brian Goldner said in a press release that the division is also helping lift results across the portfolio, as its "storytelling is resonating with consumers globally." Management highlighted a few financial wins in the quarter that just closed, including having refinanced $425 million of debt at the lowest interest rate in Hasbro's history while repurchasing another $140 million of its own shares. The stock is down 2.3% in morning trading.
Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!