A woman pays tribute in Ansan, at a temporary group memorial altar for victims of capsized passenger ship Sewol April 23, 2014. The death toll now stands at 150.
Good morning! Here's what you need to know.
Apple Is An iPhone Company. Apple reported strong earnings and revenue after the bell yesterday. "Just when the world was ready to bury Apple, the company delivered a strong beat," BI's Jay Yarow wrote. Especially notable were iPhone sales, which crushed expectations at 43.7 million. That's up 17% year over year. Compare that with iPad sales, which missed expectations at 16.35 million vs. 19 million. "There's no doubt about it. Apple is an iPhone company. Everything else is just gravy," BI's Steve Kovach said.
Stock Split. The firm also increased its share buyback plan to $90 billion from a previously announced $60 billion. It said it was increasing its quarterly dividend by about 8% and said it will split its stock 7-for-1 in June. Shares are up 7.5% before the bell. NASDAQ futures are up nearly 1.5%.
RIP Net Neutrality? The FCC is set to propose rules Thursday that would allow content companies to pay for faster and better streaming. Many thinks this spells the end of net neutrality, which some argue helped foster startups and innovation by giving smaller firms a equal access to customers. "This is a complete turnaround from the FCC's previous stance on the subject of net neutrality, which is the idea that everyone should have equal access to the Internet and content providers should not be discriminated against in providing content to customers," BI's Karyne Levy writes.
Same Old Ratings Agencies — And Wealthier. The Wall Street Journal's Tim Martin writes U.S. ratings agencies are expected to report record profits this month because nothing has been done to change their models despite calls to do so following the financial meltdown. " The business model, in which debt issuers pay for ratings, remains in place; regulations proposed years ago are yet to be implemented; and new competitors have gotten little more than a toehold," he writes.
Spanish Borrowing. Yields on Spain's 10-year hit an all-time low of 3.059%, down from 7.5% just two years ago. " Strong demand for Spanish debt at the auction was due to growing confidence in the economy , hopes the ECB will embark on a quantitative easing programme and rising optimism amongst the ratings agencies, said strategist Annalisa Piazza, of Newedge Strategy," Reuters said.
New Mega Tobacco Reg Coming. The New York Times reports the FDA is not only poised to set tough new regulations on e-cigarettes, but will also get around to things like pipes and cigars that have for years slipped under its radar. "The new regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to Americans under 18, and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age, measures already mandated in a number of states."
Data. Initial jbless claims hit at 8:30 a.m. Expectations are for a slight uptick to 313,000 from 304,000. Also at 8:30 we get durable goods orders. Expectations are for a gain of 2%; ex-transportation, 0.9%.
GM Earnings. Consensus is for $0.09/share versus $0.58/share a year ago. Barclays says it could go as low as a penny, according to NBC. GM just announced it would take a $1.3 billion write-down on the recalls it announced during in Q1.
Other Earnings Announcements. Amazon, Coke, Microsoft, Pandora, Starbucks, UPS, and Verizon all report.
Markets. Stocks are up across much of the world. U.S. futures are higher. Gold is down.
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