Stocks are coming off their worst day of the year. The Dow dropped 1.79% yesterday or 266-points to close at 14,599. Both the NASDAQ and the S&P dropped well over 2%. In addition, gold has suffered its biggest two day drop in 30-years. And the VIX volatility index, also known as the "fear gauge" has spiked 40%.
Our partner CNBC is reporting that Dell has struck a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn. CNBC says Icahn and his affiliates are agreeing not to increase their stake in the company to more than 10%. Icahn has been trying to arrange a better deal for the company than the one being spearheaded Michael Dell the company founder and CEO. Dell is offering $24.4 billion dollars to take the company private again.
It turns out American Airlines and US Airways were considering a merger long before any of us knew it. In fact, the now-bankrupt American had already held meetings with US Airways before it went belly-up. The revelation was made in court papers filed yesterday. The companies say they started talking in 2011. Their merger still faces a few more hurdles, but is poised for approval.
Coca Cola (KO) has just come out with earnings in the past hour. The company says it made 46-cents a share versus estimates of 45-cents. Revenues were $11.04 billion, also ahead of estimates. Coke says its overall business was boosted by a rise in sales in Europe and emerging markets. Coke has been rising along with the broader markets since the start of the year, hitting its 52-week high on Thursday. It shed nearly 2.5% yesterday, but is now moving higher.
Next is Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) which is also coming out this morning with earnings. Analysts are expecting the company to post earnings of $1.40 a share on sales of $17.45 billion. Johnson and Johnson has been increasing its number of drug patents. The stock has been under pressure since last week when JP Morgan downgraded it to neutral from overweight. Still it has a 52-week chart that would please most investors.
Intel (INTC) reports its earnings after the closing bell. Analysts are expecting the company to post earnings of 40-cents a share on revenues of about $12.6 billion dollars. Intel stock had a rough week last week, after a report came out revealing what most of us already know: that computer sales have shifted to tablets and smartphones. Intel hit its 52-week high last May. At $21 right now, it's trading close to its low, which it hit in November.
Finally, there's our company Yahoo! (YHOO) which is also reporting earnings after the closing bell. Shares were down almost 3% at yesterday's closing bell. But earlier in the day they hit a new 52-week high, having climbed almost 20% this year. The stock has risen on a series of acquisitions by new CEO Marissa Mayer. Just last week there was talk that Yahoo may expand its partnership with Apple. Analysts are looking for the company to post earnings of 25-cents a share on revenue of $1.1 billion dollars.