Stocks in New York hugged the flatline Wednesday as investors combed through the latest batch of corporate earnings. Bank stocks were heavily searched again on TheStreet.com after Morgan Stanley ( MS) reported a first-quarter loss due to a rebound in its bond prices and Wells Fargo ( WFC) reported revenue higher than its original forecast.
Morgan Stanley shares were down around 6% on Wednesday. The company also is cutting its quarterly dividend 81% to 5 cents a share. Wells Fargo shares, on the other hand, were gaining 2% after its quarterly report. The bank posted a profit of $3.05 billion, in line with its prior forecast, as rising credit losses were offset by a surge in mortgage banking and benefits from the Wachovia acquisition. Revenue came in slightly higher than forecast at $21.02 billion. Elsewhere, aircraft and defense products manufacturer Boeing ( BA) missed analysts' profit and revenue expectations and lowered its full-year forecast, but shares still stayed positive. Continental Airlines ( CAL) was also a heavily typed ticker after it said its revenue fell 17%, but it posted a narrower-than-expected loss. Fast-food giant McDonald's ( MCD) beat the top and bottom line in the first quarter as profit increased 3.5%. News about AT&T ( T) was also in demand after the company reported a better-than-expected profit on sales that were slightly light. General Motors ( GM) was a hot stock after CNBC reported midday that the nation's largest automaker may skip its next bond payment. Ford ( F) joined GM as a hot ticker.
Gilead Sciences ( GILD) jumped onto TheStreet.com's most searched Wednesday after the company reported a 21% boost in first-quarter profit as demand for its HIV treatments continued growing.
Finally, General Electric ( GE) was a hot ticker after CEO Jeff Immelt told investors that "2008 was tough and 2009 is also going to be tough."