U.S. stocks ended the day higher, shrugging off concerns from the Greek election and Northeast snowstorm. Shartia Brantley reports.
Investors shrugged off the concern over the Greek election and the snowstorm slamming the East Coast. The leftist anti-austerity party won in the Greek polls, and a potentially monstrous blizzard barreled its way toward New York City. S&P Capital IQ U.S. equity strategist Sam Stovall: SOUNDBITE: SAM STOVALL, U.S. EQUITY STRATEGIST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Because everyone has the ability to trade from home rather than having to be in the office to do so or even on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in order to do so, I think it'll have little impact." So investors reacted to merger and earnings headlines. A maker of Raisin Bran and Malt-O-Meal are marrying. Post is buying privately-held MOM Brands for about $1.2 billion. So too are packaging companies MeadWestvaco and Rock-Tenn. They're creating a $16 billion company. Stocks of Post, MeadWestvaco and Rock-Tenn shot higher. In earnings news, Microsoft reported a decline in quarterly profit as sluggish personal computer sales cut demand for its Windows software. Shares fell in after hours trading. Texas Instruments shares also fell after the company beat analyst estimates as revenue rose 8 percent compared to a year ago. D.R. Horton shares rose. Quarterly revenue at the U.S.' largest homebuilder jumped 37 percent. It said it was well-positioned for the spring selling season. It was the opposite picture at Seagate Technology. The hard-drive maker reported revenue and issued a revenue outlook that fell short of analysts' estimates. Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton resigned as his company warned of a fifth straight quarterly drop in sales. Replacing him in the interim: PepsiCo executive Christopher Sinclair. Shares of the toymaker fell. The maker of Barbie dolls and Fisher-Price toys reports earnings on Friday. In Europe, the Greek election outcome hurt Greek stocks. But euro zone stocks finished higher, aided by the European Central Bank's new stimulus measures.