CHICAGO, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Boeing (NYSE: BA), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and Sprint (NYSE: S).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Durable Goods Down, but Earnings Up
Before Ben Bernanke held a press conference Wednesday afternoon following the two-day FOMC meeting, investors had plenty of news to keep them occupied – from strong earnings reports from a host of blue chip companies, including Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), to a downbeat March Durable Goods reading for March.
The Durable Goods miss is disappointing and will likely feed the narrative of a loss of momentum in the economy. The report was expected to show a decline from the February level, but the 4.2% drop on a 'headline' basis was significantly weaker than expected.
This compared to a gain of 1.9% in February, which was revised down from 2.2% originally reported. 'Core' Durable Goods Orders, officially called nondefense capital goods orders ex-aircraft, were also much weaker than expected at down 0.8% after February's 2.8% gain.
This reading raises questions about the health of business spending outlook going forward and will likely be perceived as another sign of loss of momentum in the economy. It will be interesting to see how Ben Bernanke interprets the recent softer run of economic data in this afternoon's press event. But investors expect him to provide enough reassurance on fresh Fed support to keep sentiment high. Disappointment on that count, whether real or perceived, will not go down well.
Of Wednesday morning's major earnings releases, we got positive surprises from Boeing (NYSE: BA), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and Sprint (NYSE: S). Caterpillar's raised guidance following the earnings beat on modestly lower than expected revenue is particularly reassuring given the company's substantial emerging market leverage.
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