Jan. 18 - Summary of business headlines: GE, Morgan Stanley power Wall Street to five-year high, but Intel dampens Nasdaq; U.S. official says 787 won't fly until ''1,000 percent sure''; Sharp adds to more speculation of slowing Apple sales. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Tech struggles as Intel's revenue forecast chips away at confidence, but as the closing bell sounds the Dow and S&P 500 carve out five-year peaks. Blue chips gained 1.2 percent this week, a much smaller gain for the Nasdaq. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will not return to the skies until authorities are "1,000 percent sure" the plane is safe, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This just one week after saying he would fly on the plane. In earnings: Strong results from wealth management helped Morgan Stanley swing to a better-than-expected fourth quarter profit from the loss it suffered the same time the year before. Meantime, General Electric beat revenue and earnings forecasts. Orders yet to be filled sit at a record high, which means all those concerns about the U.S. fiscal cliff and a slowdown in China - not showing up in the sales figures. Shares of GE rose about 3-1/2 percent. Morgan Stanley up close to 8 percent. Apple's results don't come out until next week, but there continues to be speculation about sales. Reuters Senior Correspondent Tim Kelly is on the ground in Asia. SOUNDBITE: REUTERS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT TIM KELLY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Sources told us today that Sharp has more or less halted production of its iPad 9.7 inch screens at its Kameyama plant in central Japan, so the suggestion there is that Apple's sales of iPads are not as good as may have been anticipated. And what it looks is though - what you're seeing is Apple is suffering from cannibalization of itself in that consumers are shifting to the iPad mini rather than buy the iPad." One piece of economic news to consider, consumer sentiment is down for a second straight month - falling to its lowest in over a year - with eyes on fiscal battles in Washington. On the international front - Some hostages were freed at a gas facility in Algeria, but BP and partner Statoil are pulling non-essential staff from that country. As for European markets: stocks ended the week mostly lower but the U.K. bucked that negative trend.