The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up more than 37 points as of 11:35 a.m. EDT. Dow Jones component IBM (NYSE:IBM) was a notable underperformer, while Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) experienced a significant decline. Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) were up modestly early in the session.
No major economic data
There was no major U.S. economic data released on Friday, allowing investors to buy stock without any notable macro concerns.
On a global basis, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda spoke overnight, saying that the Japanese central bank's recent actions were working and that the nation's economy was improving sharply. Since assuming control of the Bank of Japan, Kuroda has undertaken aggressive monetary stimulus measures. Nevertheless, Japanese stocks finished down slightly on the session, suggesting that Kuroda's comments were having little effect on U.S. stocks.
Oracle tumbles after earnings
Shares of Oracle fell more than 5% early in the session after the enterprise computing giant reported earnings that disappointed analysts. Last quarter, Oracle earned $0.92 per share on revenue of $11.3 billion; analysts had expected earnings of $0.95 per share on revenue of $11.48 billion.
Oracle's business isn't shrinking, but it isn't growing as rapidly as analysts have hoped. Most of its business segments saw only modest gains in revenue, with the exception of new software licenses which stayed flat. Hardware rose only 2%, while software and cloud revenue rose 4%.
IBM among Dow's worst performers
IBM shares fell roughly 0.5% early in the session, making it one of the Dow Jones' worst performers. As a company dependent on the enterprise segment, Oracle's poor results may have been projected onto IBM, although it should be noted that the companies are not pure competitors.
IBM on Thursday announced a deal under which it sold 100 patents to Pure Storage and cross-licensed others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, leaving investors in the dark, but it suggests IBM's patent holdings have some value.
More details on the iWatch emerge
Apple, which was up 0.25%, is widely expected to debut its first wearable gadget, the iWatch, later this year. Last night, Reuters reported that supplier Quanta Computer would begin mass producing the iWatch in July, with Apple expecting to ship 50 million watches within the first year. The watch is said to monitor the wearer's pulse, and to feature a display measuring roughly 2.5-inches diagonally.
This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that the watch would come in multiple sizes and incorporate more than 10 sensors, some of which will be used for health and fitness tracking. Apple's watch is said to offer functionality dramatically different from current watches on the market, which largely serve only to extend a user's existing smartphone.
It isn't surprising that Apple shares were experiencing only a modest rally on the news, as investors and analysts have been expecting such a device for many months now. Still, the watch should give Apple a new product to sell and open the doors for future growth.