Earnings reports were leading the headlines on Wall Street Tuesday, and auto maker Ford (F) was at the top of the names in focus. The Dearborn, Mich., company had an impressive result in the first quarter, topping consensus estimates by 11 cents, with a profit of 61 cents a share (62 cents excluding items), and revenue of $33.1 billion. Expectations were for a top line under $31 billion.
On the bottom line, Ford had its best first-quarter number in 13 years, The Wall Street Journal noted, continuing its impressive rebound.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's policy making arm was beginning a two-day meeting that has largely consumed investor attention this week. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to host his first news conference after the meeting ends Wednesday. Bernanke is expected to announce the conclusion of QE2, but not any dramatic or hurried tightening.
For more of the day's headlines and trading talk, read on.
ON THE BLOGS:
* Sector "Beat Rates" This Earnings Season - Bespoke Investment Group
* The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Part Deux) - Seabreeze Partners
* Buy the Rumor, Sell the News - Joe Fahmy, via StockTwits
* Betting on a Short-Term Bounce or Medium-Term Recovery - Seeking Alpha
* Planting Weather - Points and Figures, via StockTwits
* Volatility Probability - Pragmatic Capitalism
*Pete Najarian @petenajarian - Foggy start on the East Coast, but the markets are clear and powering ahead after a close above 1335 Monday
*Stephen S. Eubanks @Eubiquitous - $SI Silver has traded 56,000k GLOBEX with $44.60 low / what happened to all the bulls trading $49.75 GLOBEX yest? #DOJI & Capitulation Close
*Ashraf Laidi @alaidi - $EURUSD still on road to 1.49 as long as no near term close below 1.4420 #forex $$
* Treasurys Rise in Quiet Before Bernanke — The Wall Street Journal
* 3 Promising Stocks Priced Below Sales — SmartMoney
* New Internet Bubble Gathering Steam — MarketWatch
* Commodity Bets Draw Debate — The Wall Street Journal
* The Biggest Loser From Fed's Easing — MarketWatch
* Defense Stocks Getting Torpedoed — Barron's
* The Big Board Tunes Out Its Own Rules — The New York Times
* Weak Greenback Could Make Firms See Red — The Wall Street Journal
* Silver Slide Ripples Out, Fed in Focus - Reuters
* Life and Death of the Trading Floor - The New York Times
* 3 Reasons To Still Own Gold (or Finally Buy Some) - StreetAuthority
* Safeway Call Buyers Go on Shopping Spree - optionMONSTER
STOCKS TO WATCH:
*Netflix (NFLX) said after the close Monday that it earned $60.2 million, or $1.11 a share, in the first quarter, up sharply from a year ago, while revenue climbed 46%. However, investors were disappointed with its outlook, and the stock fell some 5% in late trading.
*Apple (AAPL) is facing a lawsuit from two customers alleging invasion of privacy and fraud stemming from reports that the company is tracking the location of users of its iPhones and iPads, Bloomberg reported. Vikram Ajjampur of Florida and William Devito of New York sued the company April 22, the report said.
*AMD (AMD) could begin selling its new Llano-based APUs as early as June, according to a report in Digitimes.
*UBS (UBS) reported that its first-quarter earnings fell 18% to the equivalent of about $2.1 billion. Revenue declined 7%.
*Sony (SNE) has unveiled a line of tablet computers, becoming the latest electronics company to go after Apple's iPad. The company plans to use the Google Android OS for the computers, Bloomberg reported.
*Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is meeting this week with potential buyers for its enterprise business, several people familiar with the matter said, according to a Reuters report. Cisco (CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) could be among those interested, the report said.
UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES:
*Netflix: Janney Capital downgrades to sell from neutral and lowers its price target by $5. Merriman says weakness in the stock could be an opportunity to buy the shares.
*Johnson Controls (JCI): Piper Jaffray upgrades to overweight from neutral and raises its target price by $1.
*Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET): Baird downgrades to neutral from outperform and cuts its price target by $5.
*MGM Resorts (MGM): Credit Suisse downgrades to underperform from neutral and drops its target price by $3.
*Occidental Petroleum (OXY): Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy from hold and lifts its target price by $10.
*Texas Instruments (TXN): BNP Paribas downgrades to neutral from outperform.
KEY EARNINGS FOR APRIL 26:
-Delta Air Lines (DAL)
-Human Genome Sciences (HGSI)
-United Parcel Service (UPS)
-U.S. Airways (LCC)
-U.S. Steel (X)
Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.
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