U.S. Markets close in 24 mins

Markets Lower at Midday, Avon Climbs, L-3 Plunges, Beats Cuts Jobs


U.S. markets are in the red at midday on Thursday on investor worries about what robust economic growth could mean for Fed policy. Avon (AVP) shares are higher, despite earnings and sales that missed expectations. But, investors appear to be optimistic about some headcout reductions at the company. Shares of Lam Research are higher after the semiconductor-equipment company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Yum! Brands shares are lower Thursday after the fast-food chain operator said illegal activities involving a Chinese supplier have substantially hurt sales over the past couple weeks. L-3 Communications (LLL) shares are trading lower after the defense contractor disclosed accounting irregularities linked to an aerospace logistics support contract and also cut its full-year outlook. And, Apple is cutting 200 jobs at Beats Electronics. The cuts are reportedly equal to about 40% of the company's workforce. TheStreet's Ruben Ramirez reports from New York.