Market Wrap: Shack'n Up; Amazon Gain Margin, Loses Revs; Apple's New Exec; Confidence Issues

January 31, 2012 6:08 PM EST
Market wrap-up for January 31st

End of the Day: Dow Jones down 20.8 to 12,632.91; Nasdaq up 1.9 to 2,813.84; S&P 500 down 0.6 to 1,312.41

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • The curious case of Amazon Button: (Nasdaq: AMZN) reported mixed fourth-quarter results late Tuesday with earnings of 38 cents and revs of $17.43 billion. The Street was looking for EPS of 19 cents and revs of $18.2 billion. Curiously, gross margins rose from 20.3 percent to 20.7 percent, as sales of old school paperback, CDs, and DVDs continued momentum. For more color on quarter, click here.

  • Big shoes to fill: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced that John Browett will join the company as senior vice president of Retail, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Browett comes to Apple from European technology retailer Dixons Retail, where he has been CEO since 2007.

    The move comes following the departure of now-JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) CEO Ron Johnson, who held the position last year before leaving the company.

  • Looks like one country could use a spritz of Axe body spray: That cold breeze on your neck was ebbing consumer confidence. According to data from the Conference Board Tuesday, the confidence index fell from an upwardly-revised reading of 64.8 in December to 61.1, well below the economist estimate of 68.0. The reading was below even the most pessimistic projection of 62.5. For more on the numbers, click here.

  • Proving once again that it's not too tough to sell drugs: Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported revs of $16.7 billion and adjusted EPS of 50 cents, compared with expectations of $16.61 billion in revs and EPS of 47 cents. For more color, click here.

  • Let's not start pointing fingers. Takes two to tango: RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) took a hit today following lower fourth-quarter earnings expectations, though revs are expected to remain relatively in-line with views. Earnings for the quarter should be 11 cents to 13 cents, far below expectations for 37 cents. Revs at $.39 billion should top views.

    Radio Shack is basically blaming Sprint. For more on the guidance, click here.
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