Just clear of the budget deal and the Fed announcement, markets are now bracing for the next big battle over the debt ceiling. And a big miss for BlackBerry (BBRY).
Here are this morning's business headlines.
Stocks shrugged off the negative news on jobless claims yesterday, ending the session mixed, but little changed. The Dow managed to eek to another record close, adding eleven points. Stocks are showing some resilience, but we'll likely see more action today, with quadruple witching Friday as stock futures and options expire. Expect a spike in volume and volatility. And as the show aired, we got the final revision on third quarter GDP. The Commerce Department reported the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1% during the third quarter. That’s 0.5% more than the previous estimate.
The new healthcare law has more changes affecting people whose plans were cancelled because they don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration announced they can claim a hardship exception or get basic catastrophic insurance. The administration came under fire for the cancellations after President Obama promised that people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it under Obamacare. But the head of the lobbying group for health insurance companies worries that the change could "cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers."
And the Senate will hold a vote on the confirmation for Federal Reserve Chair nominee, Janet Yellen, on January 6th - the first day back in the new year. Yellen will succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke whose term ends in late January.
Now a look at four stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.
First up, BlackBerry. The stock was halted in early trading after the company reported a big miss this morning. They reported a loss of $0.67 per share versus estimates for a loss of $0.45 a share. Revenue plummeted to $1.19 billion from last year's $2.7 billion and missed estimates of $1.59 billion. This report makes it the seventh straight quarter with profits in the red. BlackBerry also just announced that it will enter a five year agreement with the manufacturer Foxxconn. It has been a busy couple of months for the one-time smartphone king. It started with news that they were no longer up for sale after failing to find a buyer. Around the same time, the company ousted CEO Thorsten Heins and then announced it was taking a billion dollar investment from Fairfax Financial Holdings in exchange for convertible debt. Investors are waiting to see if interim CEO John Chen formerly of Sybase, can turn things around for the struggling company. For the year, BlackBerry is down close to 47%.
Next, Walgreen (WAG), which reported earnings this morning of $0.72 which was in-line with estimates. Revenue rose 5.9% to $18.33 billion, though missing on estimates of $18.35 billion. For the year Walgreen is up almost 50%.
Now Nike (NKE), whose shares had a roller coaster ride in after-hours trading yesterday after the company reported earnings. Shares were up as much as 2% and down as much as 3% before finally settling down just under a percent. The athletic apparel giant reported earnings of $0.59 a share beating estimates by a cent. Revenue rose 8% to $6.43 billion, but missed estimates of $6.44 billion. The results can be attributed to strong sales in Europe and China, and to an extent North America. Though, the 9% rise in North American revenue did fall short of the 10% analysts expected. Nike is up close to 51% for the year.
Finally, let's check in on Target (TGT), which has been weathering a storm of bad press. The company saw shares fall more than 2% yesterday following the revelation that 40 million of its customers' credit and debit card accounts had been stolen after its system was hacked. For the year, Target is up close to 6%.
The Federal Reserve reports its balance sheet has topped $4 trillion for the first time ever. The Fed's $85 billion-a-month bond purchases have been adding up in what is the third round of quantitative easing. The Fed announced it will trim those purchases by $10 billion starting next month. Stepping back, some economists are worried it may be hard for the central bank to shrink that balance sheet at some point without disturbing financial markets. So we want to know from you: How concerned are you about the Fed's $4 trillion balance sheet? Vote your thoughts below and leave a comment as well.
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