US FINANCIAL MARKET
- The S&P 500 managed to hit its longest winning streak since October 2006. The Index is above 1,500-level.
- Samsung Electronics quarterly profit soared 76 percent ($6.6 billion, half of Apple’s profit), boosted by the popularity of its Galaxy smartphones. But the company said that it expects earnings to decline during the current quarter because of seasonally low demand for consumer electronics. Shares fell to a two-month low in Seoul trading.
- Black Thursday for Apple’s share yesterday: the company lost $60 billion of its market value in one day, equivalent to market cap of companies like Caterpillar, Bristol Myers, and Boeing and greater than that of those such as Starbucks, Target, and FedEx. Apple lost about $240 billion of its market cap since the September 19 high, equivalent to market cap of Microsoft or GE or Google.
- Procter & Gamble quarterly profit soared past expectations. It issued a better than expected profit guidance for 2013.
- Starbucks reported stronger-than-expected sales in the United States and Asia. Overall revenue jumped almost 11 percent.
- AT&T fourth-quarter revenue rose faster than expected. It added 780,000 mobile subscribers in the quarter. The company also said it sold 8.6 million iPhones in the quarter.
- Microsoft quarterly profit edged lower as Office software sales slowed ahead of a new launch. Overall sales rose 3 percent to $21.5 billion. Windows sales jumped 24 percent to $5.9 billion, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations. Microsoft said it has sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses since its late-October launch.
- Chicken sold to KFC’s parent Yum Brands in China contained excessive levels of chemicals, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
- Japan’s leading airlines are firmly behind Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, saying they have had no second thoughts on orders for several dozen more of the planes.
- Halliburton’s net income for the fourth quarter declined 26 percent, yet adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations.
- Kia Motors fourth-quarter operating profit was halved in the fourth quarter.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales fell 7.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000. For the year, sales rose nearly 20 percent to 367,000, the most since 2009 and the first annual gain since 2005. Sales are still below the 700,000 level that economists consider healthy.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Britain’s economy shrank more than expected. The country’s GDP fell 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
- German stocks advanced to a five- year high as business confidence rose more than forecast in January.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Nellie Bly bested Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days by completing her circumnavigation in 72 days (1890)
- Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated transcontinental telephone service (1915)
- The first Winter Olympic games opened at Chamonix, France (1924)
- The first Emmy Awards were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club (1949)
- President John F. Kennedy held the first live presidential news conference on television (1961)