Us stocks edge higher as apple jumps, drink makers stumble gas estimator

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NEW YORK >> Apple is climbing Wednesday after it announced a huge stock repurchase and solid results in its latest quarter, and U.S. stocks are mostly higher. Losses for health care firms, household food and beverage companies are canceling out gains for smaller companies. Snap, the company behind the Snapchat video app, is plunging after it reported weak revenue. Bond yields are little changed as investors expect the Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady as it wraps up its latest meeting this afternoon.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,652 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. That came after a late rally Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average added 8 points to 23,108. The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,140.

APPLE PAY(S OFF): Apple had a slightly better fiscal second quarter than Wall Street anticipated, and while iPhone sales weren’t any better than expected in the latest quarter, shareholders were pleased with Apple’s forecasts. They were also happy with the amount of cash the company is returning to them, as the tech giant said it will use some of its tax savings to buy back $100 billion of its own stock and to raise its dividend. Apple stock climbed 4.6 percent to $176.86. That helped offset small losses for other technology companies including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco Systems.

FEELING THIRSTY: Molson Coors Brewing suffered its worst drop in 13 years after it said the U.S. beer industry got off to a slow start in 2018. Molson said cold weather may have prompted consumers to cut back on their drinking. The company’s profit and revenue fell short of analyst projections and it also said sales to wholesalers declined. Its stock shed 12.9 percent to $62.44. Coca-Cola and Pepsi continued to fall, with Coke down 1.1 percent to $42.12 and Pepsi sliding 1.8 percent to $97.3.

HEALTH WOES: Drugmaker Gilead Sciences dropped 7.3 percent to $67.30 after its sales fell short of analyst estimates. Revenue from two of Gilead’s major hepatitis C drugs dropped as new competitors entered the market. Animal health company Zoetis also disappointed Wall Street and fell 4.8 percent to $79.38.

COPY THAT: Xerox’s CEO and most of its board will resign as investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason push the company to stop its sale to longtime partner Fujifilm. The duo called for Jacobson to resign in late January, shortly before Xerox announced a deal that will result in Fujifilm taking majority control of Xerox. Including Jacobson, six directors are being replaced, which means a majority of the board will be backed by Icahn and Deason. Xerox said the new board will reconsider the deal with Fujifilm and could terminate or restructure Xerox’s relationship with the company.

FED FOCUS: The Federal Reserve is expected to keep borrowing rates unchanged, but traders will be particularly interested in the statement accompanying the Fed’s decision. The central bank says it expects to raise interest rates a total of three times this year. It raised them once in March and investors think the next boost will come in June. One of the key debates on Wall Street is whether the Fed will raise rates three times as planned, or if it will raise them four times in response to more signs of inflation and faster economic growth.

EUROPE SLOWDOWN: After posting its highest growth in a decade during 2017, the 19-country eurozone has come off the boil at the start of the new year, largely because of temporary factors such as cold weather. The European Union’s statistics agency said Wednesday that growth across the bloc slowed in the first three months of the year to a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent from a hefty 0.7 percent tick the previous quarter. Despite the slowdown, growth was higher than the equivalent in the U.S.

NEW YORK >> Apple is climbing Wednesday after it announced a huge stock repurchase and solid results in its latest quarter, and U.S. stocks are mostly higher. Losses for health care firms, household food and beverage companies are canceling out gains for smaller companies. Snap, the company behind the Snapchat video app, is plunging after it reported weak revenue. Bond yields are little changed as investors expect the Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady as it wraps up its latest meeting this afternoon.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,652 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. That came after a late rally Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average added 8 points to 23,108. The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,140.

APPLE PAY(S OFF): Apple had a slightly better fiscal second quarter than Wall Street anticipated, and while iPhone sales weren’t any better than expected in the latest quarter, shareholders were pleased with Apple’s forecasts. They were also happy with the amount of cash the company is returning to them, as the tech giant said it will use some of its tax savings to buy back $100 billion of its own stock and to raise its dividend. Apple stock climbed 4.6 percent to $176.86. That helped offset small losses for other technology companies including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco Systems.

FEELING THIRSTY: Molson Coors Brewing suffered its worst drop in 13 years after it said the U.S. beer industry got off to a slow start in 2018. Molson said cold weather may have prompted consumers to cut back on their drinking. The company’s profit and revenue fell short of analyst projections and it also said sales to wholesalers declined. Its stock shed 12.9 percent to $62.44. Coca-Cola and Pepsi continued to fall, with Coke down 1.1 percent to $42.12 and Pepsi sliding 1.8 percent to $97.3.

HEALTH WOES: Drugmaker Gilead Sciences dropped 7.3 percent to $67.30 after its sales fell short of analyst estimates. Revenue from two of Gilead’s major hepatitis C drugs dropped as new competitors entered the market. Animal health company Zoetis also disappointed Wall Street and fell 4.8 percent to $79.38.

COPY THAT: Xerox’s CEO and most of its board will resign as investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason push the company to stop its sale to longtime partner Fujifilm. The duo called for Jacobson to resign in late January, shortly before Xerox announced a deal that will result in Fujifilm taking majority control of Xerox. Including Jacobson, six directors are being replaced, which means a majority of the board will be backed by Icahn and Deason. Xerox said the new board will reconsider the deal with Fujifilm and could terminate or restructure Xerox’s relationship with the company.

FED FOCUS: The Federal Reserve is expected to keep borrowing rates unchanged, but traders will be particularly interested in the statement accompanying the Fed’s decision. The central bank says it expects to raise interest rates a total of three times this year. It raised them once in March and investors think the next boost will come in June. One of the key debates on Wall Street is whether the Fed will raise rates three times as planned, or if it will raise them four times in response to more signs of inflation and faster economic growth.

EUROPE SLOWDOWN: After posting its highest growth in a decade during 2017, the 19-country eurozone has come off the boil at the start of the new year, largely because of temporary factors such as cold weather. The European Union’s statistics agency said Wednesday that growth across the bloc slowed in the first three months of the year to a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent from a hefty 0.7 percent tick the previous quarter. Despite the slowdown, growth was higher than the equivalent in the U.S.