Jan 24 - Summary of business headlines: Profits drop at Microsoft, but U.S. leads Starbuck earnings gain; jobless claims fall to new five-year low; Apple sinks, Netflix soars one-day after results. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL A profit drop at Microsoft- but earnings were slightly better than expected. Weaker sales of its Xbox game system in the holiday quarter offset a solid start for its new Windows 8 operating system. But profits were up at Starbucks. Customers in the U.S. -its top market- spent more than expected during the holiday season. Xerox results beat forecasts. The company is restructuring in an effort to become a broader technology company. Stocks were mostly higher- The S&P 500 making it first seven-day streak of gains in six years- thanks to solid economic data. Weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-year low- an increase had been expected. JP Morgan's Tom Lee believes it will continue to improve: SOUNDBITE: TOM LEE, U.S. EQUITY STRATEGIST, JP MORGAN CHASE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "As we think about 2013, you know, I think there is downside meaning I think claims could drop even lower as the U.S. housing and construction markets strengthen." A separate report showed factory activity grew the most in nearly two years in January. Apple stock sank 12 percent the day after it reported weaker than expected iPhone sales and a revenue miss. But Netflix was the star stock up 42%- reacting to news its subscriber base grew by 4 million. 3M earnings met forecasts, on solid growth in sales of its products which include Post-It notes. Lockheed Martin- the pentagon's biggest supplier- warned defense budget cuts would hurt their sales this year. But they added they can cut costs enough that their earnings would still grow more than forecasts. Its rival, Raytheon had a similar warning, but says its profit would shrink. In Europe: All arrows to the upside. European shares hit their 2013 peak on signs of growth in economic powerhouse Germany.