Summary: Twitter raises guidance; drug markers’ earns rise; Consumer confidence highest in seven years; Home prices fall; Sanctions against Russia expanded. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Twitter stock jumped in after hours trading, after its earnings came in stronger than expected. Active users increased 24 percent to 271 million. American Express earnings were up 13 percent from a year ago- and beat forecasts. During the regular trading session- stocks took a step back Wednesday. Big movers included: Windstream Holdings jumping after filing to spin off assets into real estate investment trust. Herbalife tumbling- after it cut its sales outlook. Among the other earnings highlights: Dow component drug companies Merck and Pfizer both turning in better-than-expected results. UPS slashed earnings forecast. The top courier company also missed on profit forecasts. Corning falling after it missed analysts estimates. Economic news- a mixed diagnosis. Consumer confidence came in at its highest level in 7 years. In fact, consumers have their best view of the job market since 2008. But U.S. single home prices had their first drop since January of 2012 in May- a gain had been expected in the S&P/Case-Shiller index. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. homeownership rates continue to fall- financially squeezed Americans choosing to rent. The Fed began its two-day meeting. The U.S. central bank expected to cut another $10 billion as they wind down their bond buying program- and consider when to raise rates. Cumberland Advisors David Kotok warns it's a precarious time for investors. SOUNDBITE: DAVID KOTOK, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CUMBERLAND ADVISORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "History says when central banks make changes, there is usually a rocky time. History says when Fed Chair seats change there is usually a rocky time, and we've seen that in the past, so will we get it this time? I don't know. But it seems to me some cash reserves on the sidelines is a prudent thing." A day ahead of the deadline to avoid a debt default by Argentina, the country's European bondholders have asked a U.S. judge to suspend a ruling- saying they and other bond holders would be willing to waive a clause that prevents Argentina from settling with hold out investors on better terms. Turning to Europe: The European Union has reached a deal to impose economic sanctions on Russia- targeting its oil industry, defense, sensitive technologies - as well as dual use goods- products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes- but that can have military applications. The U.S. expanded its sanctions- targeting the energy, defense and finance sectors of the Russian economy. European markets were cautious on that sanction news- but closed higher on encouraging earnings news.