Top 10 News Items for 01/21 - 01/25: Apple Gets Cored; Exxon is New King; Netflix Runs Double Feature

January 25, 2013 4:21 PM EST
1. Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) shares were slammed following issuance of first-quarter results. EPS of $13.81 and revs of $54.5 billion topped views, but investors cringed as iPhone sales were lighter than expected. For more color, click here.

2. If you've never seen a stock rip higher on a brutal combination of antsy investors and a high short ratio, you did this week. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) climbed over 70 percent at one point through Friday following stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The streaming movie giant stunned the Street in reporting profit of 13 cents per share, when analysts were expecting something along the lines of a 13 cent drop. Total shares held short ebbed a little toward the end of December, but was largely a quarter of all outstanding shares. For more on the numbers, click here.

3. Activist investor Carl Icahn and Pershing Square's Bill Ackman had a heated debate over who like whom less on CNBC this afternoon. After rumors surfaced that Icahn might be talking a long position in Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) in spite of Ackman, CNBC invited Ackman on to discuss how he felt about Icahn taking the opposite side. A summary can be read here.

4. The U.S. house approved a measure to temporarily suspend the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Wednesday. Following the sequester, no agreement on further spending might mean a government shutdown on March 27th.

5. Hedge fund man David Tepper got soft on stocks this week. Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Tepper said he is bullish this year and said new money will increasingly go into stocks as equities offer better returns versus credit. He sees the U.S. growing 2 percent to 3 percent and said European risk is now largely off the table.

6. Not to beat a dead horse, but Apple also ceded the title of "World's Most Valuable Company" back to Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) on Friday, something unheard of last September.

The decline of Apple goes to show how more than any fundamental or technical valuation you can throw up into a chart or report, investor sentiment generally takes the cake.

7. President Obama named Mary Jo White as the successor to Elisse White, who took over for Mary Schapiro in December, as SEC Chairman. White was a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York. Richard Cordray was also re-nominated as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

8. U.S. existing home sales hit multi-year highs for 2012 amid a drop in December. The National Association of Realtors sees 4.65 million homes being sold in 2012, an increase of 9.2 percent over 2011. For more on the numbers, click here.

9. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth outlook from 3.6 percent down to 3.5 percent for FY13. Dragging on expansion will be Europe, with its 17-member European Union expected to show 0.2 percent of contraction for the year. For more on the IMF outlook, click here.

10. Egan-Jones got a surprise this week from the place most in the financial industry don't want to receive a surprise from: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The commission barred barred Egan-Jones Ratings Co. from issuing ratings on bonds issued by countries, U.S. states and local governments, or securities backed by assets such as mortgages, for at least the next 18 months.

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Carl Icahn, William Ackman, Existing-Home Sales, Pershing Square Capital, Appaloosa, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Hedge Funds, Mary Schapiro, Barack Obama

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