|16:30 EDT||SCSS, NUS, MSFT, AAPL, NFLX, HLF, T, EGHT, OSK, XOM, PG||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were higher with the Nasdaq leading the major averages, despite another down day from its biggest component Apple (AAPL). The S&P 500 spent most of the session near the important psychological level of 1500, eventually finishing just above that level, within reach of its all-time highs... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., data showed new home sales fell 7.3% to a 369K rate in December, versus expectations for an increase of 2.1%. However, November sales were revised substantially higher. In Europe, the ECB announced that 278 banks will repay over EUR137B of LTRO funds at the end of this month, which was more than expected. Also, German business confidence increased more than economists forecast, as indicated by the Ifo institutes' business climate index climbing to 104.2 from 102.4 in December... COMPANY NEWS: Three Dow components reported earnings last night or this morning and all three advanced after their reports. Procter & Gamble (PG) led the Dow, up $2.83, or 4.02%, to $73.25 after its earnings and guidance beat expectations. Microsoft (MSFT) gained 25c, or 0.9%, to $27.88 and AT&T (T) gained 27c, or 0.8%, to $34.02... Apple shares fell $10.65, or 2.36%, to $439.85, bringing the company's market cap to $413.04B, making ExxonMobil (XOM) the world's most valuable company and taking Apple shares to their 52-week low... On CNBC's Fast Money Halftime, Bill Ackman discussed his short position in Herbalife (HLF) again, and responded to attacks by activist investor Carl Icahn. During his interview, Ackman mentioned that he has heard Dan Loeb, who notably took a long position in Herbalife, is short shares of Nu Skin (NUS). Icahn later joined the broadcast and the two hedge fund managers aired their personal grievances in a bizarre half hour of television... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Oshkosh (OSK), up $6.50, or 18.8%, to $41.08 after beating quarterly earnings expectations and raising its FY13 profit view, and Netflix (NFLX), which gained $22.70, or 15.46%, to $169.56 following a 42% gain during yesterday's session. Among the noteworthy losers following earnings reports were Select Comfort (SCSS), down $5.04, or 17.87%, to $23.16 and 8x8 (EGHT), down 86c, or 10.83%, to $7.08... INDICES: The Dow was up 70.65, or 0.51%, to 13,895.98; the Nasdaq was up 19.33, or 0.62%, to 3,149.71; the S&P 500 was up 8.14, or 0.54%, 1,502.96.