Another tough week for the stock market left the S&P 500 down 1.6%. Even a positive GDP number, which showed 5.7% growth for the fourth quarter of 2009, wasn't enough to turn the market higher. The Nasdaq fell 2.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.0%. For the month, these indexes are down 3.7%, 5.4% and 3.5%, respectively.
It was a busy week for earnings. Amazon (AMZN) beat estimates handily, while Qualcomm's (QCOM) guidance disappointed the market. Procter & Gamble (PG) beat estimates; AT&T (T) reported strong earnings thanks to the Apple (AAPL) iPhone, while Apple itself reported a great quarter and unveiled the iPad.
Unlike the iPhone, the iPad will not be exclusive to AT&T, but the firm did partner with Apple to offer a data subscription deal. Reviews of the product were mixed, and it will take some feedback from users before we know whether this is another hit like the iPod and iPhone, or whether it is another Newton.
Despite the positives, the market preferred the negatives. Caterpillar (CAT), for one, delivered disappointing guidance with its earnings report and carried the entire heavy-equipment sector lower.Toyota (TM) announced a massive recall and stopped selling many popular models due to a problem with the accelerator. The supplier of that part, CTS (CTS), fell more than 10% on the week. In contrast, the last of the Big Three in nongovernment hands, Ford (F), reported its first annual profit since 2005 and shares gained 3.2% for the week. Finally, Ben Bernanke was reappointed to the position of Federal Reserve chairman on the closest vote in history. Eighteen Republicans, 11 Democrats and one independent joined together in opposing his appointment.
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