Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Investors can expect a sharply negative start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost 109 points, or about 0.8%, in premarket trading this morning. As they did yesterday, stocks look set to follow world markets lower at the end of the trading week: European and emerging market indexes lost more than 1% in overnight trading. Meanwhile, corporate earnings continue to roll in, with huge companies, including Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), booking results this morning.
P&G today reported results for its fiscal second quarter. The consumer goods giant saw organic sales grow by 3%, in line with its forecast of between 3% and 4% growth this year. Revenue came in at $22.3 billion -- flat with the prior-year period -- as earnings ticked lower by a penny, to $1.21 a share. While unexciting, those solid results helped the company generate $3.3 billion in operating cash flow, which it distributed entirely to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock repurchases in the quarter. P&G also affirmed its guidance for the rest of the fiscal year, saying it still expects earnings to grow between 7% and 9%. The stock is unchanged in premarket trading.
Honeywell this morning booked a 13% jump in quarterly profit, to $1.24 a share. Revenue rose by a surprisingly high 8% in the fourth quarter, to hit $10.4 billion, as sales improved significantly in its automation and control and performance materials and technologies divisions. The company reaffirmed its guidance for 2014, saying that it sees sales growth of between 3% and 4% driving a 10% boost in earnings this year, to $5.35 a share. That leaves the stock valued at a reasonable 16 times this year's earnings. Honeywell shares are unchanged in premarket trading.
Finally, Bristol-Myers Squibb today beat quarterly earnings and sales estimates by logging $0.44 a share in profit on $4.4 billion in revenue. The drugmaker's revenue was pushed higher by a number of successful products, including the skin-cancer treatment Yervoy, which booked 23% sales growth in the quarter. Bristol-Myers provided an outlook for 2014 that called for earnings of $1.72 a share, or about 5% below last year's $1.82 haul. The stock is up 1.9% in premarket trading.