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Thursday Evening Business Brief

July 24, 2014, 6:45 PM by Chris Dexter

Thursday Evening Business Brief

NEW YORK (AP) - More than 3 billion shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange today, but the main stock indexes have finished pretty much where they started. Investors had a busy day of corporate earnings and economic reports to digest, but in the end the Dow edged down less than three points to close at 17,083.80. The S&P 500 closed at a new record high, but gained less than a point, finishing just below 1,988. The Nasdaq composite dropped a point and a half to 4,472.

  • The major U.S. stock indexes barely budged today, but underneath the flat surface, there was a lot of movement in individual companies. Facebook's stock rose 5 percent while Caterpillar's fell 3 percent after the companies each reported quarterly results. And homebuilder stocks slid after the government reported that new home sales sagged 8.1 percent last month. Ryan Larson of RBC Global Asset Management says: "It's a stock-specific market right now."
     
  • Visa says its profit climbed 11 percent in its fiscal third quarter over the same period last year. Solid growth in payments volume, service revenue and transactions drove profits. The results beat or matched Wall Street expectations. However, the company has reduced its earnings outlook for the year, noting a stronger U.S. dollar and slow growth in international transactions. That's sending Visa shares into a slump in after-market trading.
     
  • Shares of Amazon.com are falling in aftermarket trading after the e-commerce retailer reported a larger than expected second quarter loss with expenses outpacing a surge in revenue. Amazon has long focused on spending the money it makes to grow and expand into new areas. The company introduced a smartphone due out this week, for instance. It's also expanded Sunday deliveries and recently began offering a set-top video streaming box.
     
  • Starbucks's profits are up as new food and drinks boost U.S. sales. Globally, Starbucks says sales at established locations rose 6 percent for the quarter. That includes a 7 percent increase in the flagship U.S. market, as well as a 7 percent increase in Asia. The Seattle-based coffee chain is raising its guidance for the year, citing the stronger performance.

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