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Morgan Stanley and Verizon Report; Jobless Claims; Apple Under $400

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You can forget that triple-digit loss the Dow suffered yesterday. Markets are poised to move higher on several impressive earnings. Verizon (VZ), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Pepsi (PEP) all beat the street this morning with their quarterly reports. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims rose slightly from last week. But keep in mind, at that point they had taken a surprise drop. The Labor Department says there were 352,000 new claims filed.

Nothing seems more rotten on Wall Street than Apple's (AAPL) stock performance. Shares dipped below $400 apiece in trading yesterday and ended the session more than 5% lower. The plunge was precipitated by word from Apple suppliers that orders have been down; tthey didn't explicitly say it was Apple but that's the implication. That also sent many of their stocks lower. Remember, Apple was trading at $705 back in September. It's now at less than 60% of that, and has shed 22% of its value since the start of the year.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Google (GOOG) reports after today's closing bell. Analysts are looking for the company to post profits of $10.69 a share on revenue of about $14-billion. Google continues to dominate the market for online search ads, and seems to announce new plans every day. Just yesterday the company revealed plans to bring its lightning-fast Google Fiber service to Provo, Utah, an area known for tech start-ups. Google's stock has soared 30% over the last year. It's up almost 10% since the start of 2013.

Microsoft (MSFT) also reports after the closing bell. Last week came reports that Windows 8 has failed to generate enough excitement to jump-start PC sales. And sales of Microsoft's Surface tablet seem scant at best, though the company maintains it has been pleased with results so far. Microsoft touched its 52-week high last April and is down about 7% over the past year.

From one pioneering computer company to another, IBM (IBM) also reports after the closing bell. Consensus is for Big Blue to post earnings per share of $3.05 on revenue of more than $24-billion. Even though IBM invented the PC, it has succeeded by reinventing itself and moving into higher-margin services like IT consulting, servers, and most recently cloud computing. IBM is up about 8% year to date, recently falling off its 52-week high.

Finally, we look at eBay (EBAY) which has moved lower since reporting its earnings after yesterday's closing bell. The company posted profits of 63-cents per share. That's a 19%jump over last year. Revenues were also up 14%, just missing expectations. Not too bad, right? But eBay is warning that sales growth has slowed from last year, and the company is lowering its outlook moving forward. Its PayPal unit is also facing increased competition from Amazon and other companies. eBay is up almost 60% over the past year and hit its 52-week high last week.

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