The Dow and S&P 500 came off their highs closing slightly lower on this low volume Monday. Taper talk from Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher weighed on investors. On the economic front, The Institute for Supply Management says growth in the services sector accelerated in July to 56 from 52.2 in June. The increase came as new orders hit their highest level in five months and topped expectations for a reading of 53. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.
Tyson Foods (TSN) climbed over 4% after the company released its quarterly earnings ahead of the opening bell. The meat producer easily beat estimates for the quarter posting 69-cents a share, when expectations had been for 60-cents. They were 50-cents a year ago before the company instituted a share buyback program. As for revenue, it came in at $8.73 billion, also beating the consensus which was $8.66 billion. Tyson says its chicken unit has surged to record earnings and its beef division has been on the rebound.
Fossil (FOSL) fell over 6% on a downgrade to underweight from equal weight at Barclays. Analysts say sales for the chain are slowing. Fossil will report quarterly earnings on Tuesday. The company has been profitable for every quarter in the past two years, and in the last four quarters, profits have grown by an average of 19% from the prior year.
Apple (AAPL) hit its highest point today since May, climbing more than 1% on White House intervention. Over the weekend, the Obama administration vetoed a trade ruling that banned the import of some iPhones and iPads. The U.S. International Trade Commission had previously ruled that Apple infringed upon a patent held by Samsung. Vote in today's Hot Stock Minute poll: was Obama Administration veto of Apple ruling right or wrong?
Facebook (FB) shares rose 3% and topped $39 for the first time since its IPO. The climb came on the heels of a revised price target from Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray. He now expects shares to reach $46 on word that the company will soon integrate fifteen second TV-style video ads into the social network.
From social networks, to old fashioned TV networks, CBS (CBS) was down over 1% on its cable fray with Time Warner Cable (TWC). On Friday, the cable giant began blocking CBS and its other stations, including Showtime, amid a fee dispute. At this point, there's no resolution in sight, with the sides giving conflicting reports about whether they're even negotiating.
Sticking with the cable guys, Charter Communications (CHTR) lost 3% today, giving back strong gains it made on Friday on reports that the company was in talks with Cox Communications, a larger, privately held competitor. Details of a possible proposal remain unclear, including which company might acquire the other. On a related note, Cablevision (CVC) CEO James Dolan tells the Wall Street Journal, the future for cable companies now lies in broadband. He said there could come a day when his company stops offering TV altogether.