Stocks remain mixed as investors assess the latest round of corporate earnings. Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs are among the losers in the Dow, while materials companies have been among the gainers, led by Dow Chemical and Alcoa. The Dow was off about 50 points in afternoon trading, while the broader indexes are modestly higher.
- Shares of Dow Chemical are up 6 percent after a hedge fund acquired a stake in the company. Third Point LLC says it wants Dow to spin off its petrochemicals division. Dow says it welcomes constructive input, but maintains its investments have yielded value for shareholders and will continue to do so.
- A survey of the world's corporate leaders finds them "gradually switching from survival mode to growth mode." PricewaterhouseCoopers says the CEOs it surveyed are more confident in the global economy, though generating growth is "getting increasingly complicated" amid new regulations introduced since the financial crisis exploded in 2008.
- Bombardier is laying off about 1,700 employees and contractors at its facilities in the United States and Canada. That number includes 550 people in the company's Learjet facility in Wichita, Kansas. Bombardier says the Wichita layoffs include 200 contractors who left the company in December after their contracts expired and were not renewed. Bombardier blames persistently challenging market conditions for light aircraft.
- Fiat says it has completed its acquisition of Chrysler. The Italian carmaker has been running Chrysler since 2009, but lacked full control until Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne struck a hard-fought deal with a union-controlled trust fund. The deal makes Chrysler a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat.