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Stocks Slide in Late Trading After Fed

Jeremy Glaser

U.S. Market
Stocks slide in late trading today after the Fed said it is still patient, but appeared to still be on track to raise rates in the middle of this year. The market was also eyeing generally upbeat earnings and Greek worries.

At market close the Nasdaq, Dow and S&P 500 were down 1.0%, 1.1% and 1.4% respectively.

Stocks on the Move
Shares of Apple (AAPL) rose 5.7% today after the firm crushed analyst estimates for its December quarter results, announced late Tuesday. Quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion raced past the high end of Apple’s prior forecast of $66.5 billion, making this revenue beat its largest in at least the last 12 quarters. All credit goes to the iPhone, whose sales of 74.5 million units surpassed even Apple’s own internal projections, representing 46% growth from the year-ago quarter. iPhone pricing also remained robust, at $687 per unit, thanks to a richer mix toward the higher-priced iPhone 6 Plus and phones sold with greater storage capacity. Similarly, gross margin expanded 190 basis points sequentially, to 39.9%. Apple achieved these stellar results despite currency headwinds from the strengthening U.S. dollar. Adjusting for currency impact, Apple's revenue would have been $3 billion higher.

Yahoo (YHOO) announced a plan Tuesday night for a tax-free spin-off of its remaining ownership of Alibaba Group (BABA), a value-creating move for shareholders that outweighs an otherwise uninspiring fourth-quarter financial report. In the quarter, gross revenue declined, as tepid growth in search (up 0.8%) did not offset weakness in core display (down 3.9%). Yahoo shares were down over 3% at market close.

AT&T (T) struggled to handle the competitive pressures in the wireless business during the fourth quarter. Though the firm reported a 50% increase in net postpaid wireless customer additions versus a year ago, lower-value tablet customers fueled this growth. The pace of postpaid customer defections (churn) ticked up to the highest level in several years, which management blamed on T-Mobile’s (TMUS) ability to offer the iPhone for the first time around a major product refresh. Shares were down slightly on the report.

Shares of Boeing (BA) took off today, rising 5.4%, after the firm reported better-than-expected results. The firm said it made $2.02 a share, up from $1.61 a share in the year ago quarter. The results come as demand for commercial aircraft remain robust.