Markets Slip as J&J, Travelers Disappoints While IBM Falls Post-Market

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday as disappointing earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson  ( JNJ) and Travelers Companies ( TRV) gave investors yet another reason to believe that equities may be overbought. A decision by the People's Bank of China's to boost liquidity to its commercial banks provided hope that if the U.S. economy is to continue to rebound, external demand will be a key ingredient.

International Business Machines' ( IBM) was dropping in after-hours-trading as the information services giant reported weaker-than-expected sales of computer hardware.

  • The S&P 500 added 0.22% to 1,842.79, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed behind by 0.31% to 16,408.34. The Nasdaq gained 0.62% to 4,223.54.
  • European and most Asian markets were higher Tuesday after the People's Bank of China said it would intervene in money markets to cool the "squeeze in interbank-lending lending/borrowing rates."
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) lost 1.1% to $94.03 after missing estimates with a 2014 earnings projection of $5.75 to $5.85 a share.
  • Verizon (VZ) gave up 1.4% to $47.67, even after exceeding fiscal fourth-quarter expectations. As report did also reveal ongoing weakness in the enterprise market and slowdowns in the wireless customer growth.
  • Travelers Companies (TRV) was off 1.7% to $85, despite reporting a more than tripling in fourth-quarter earnings, but revealed some slowdown in new business and lower-than-expected core margins.
  • International Business Machines  (IBM) shares were down 0.84% to $186.85 in after-hours trades as the company after the closing bell reported earnings of $6.13 a share excluding items on revenue of $27.7 billion. Analysts were expecting $5.99 a share on $28.25 billion.
  • The Federal Reserve is expected to keep cutting its massive bond-buying program when it meets next week (Jan 28-29) amid its expectations for solid economic growth this year.
  • U.S. markets were closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day. The economic calendar is empty Tuesday, with investors looking to weekly jobless claims and existing home sales data later this week.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

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