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Weekly Winners and Losers: AAPL, XOM, NFLX

By: , dated April 27th, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

The week ended slightly up, as positive data on pending home sales and the Federal Reserve’s ongoing expansionary policy offset a low Case-Shiller index for February and greater than expected jobless claims. Several strong earnings calls were also credited with the performance of major indices this week, as big brands such as Apple (AAPL: Charts, News) and Chrystler saw big quarters for net income. More Market News

Economic News

Case-Shiller Shows U.S. Home Prices Hit Fresh Lows In February
A closely-watched gauge of U.S. home prices stumbled again in February, with the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices making fresh cycle lows in its 10- and 20-city measures. Click here to read the full article
Fed, seeing moderate growth ahead, sticks with low-rate policy
Top Federal Reserve officials, saying the economy is expanding moderately, reaffirmed their pledge to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through 2014.

The Fed’s statement Wednesday, after a two-day meeting in Washington, gave no indication that additional efforts to boost the economy were coming. Click here to read the full article

U.S. Live Cattle Futures Rebound As Mad Cow Fears Fade
U.S. live cattle futures remained on the rebound Thursday after extending nine-months lows due to a report of mad cow disease earlier in the week. Despite the reported case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), importers from Canada and Japan said they will continue to purchase American beef. Click here to read the full article
Pending home sales near 2-year high
he index, which represents contracts signed but not yet closed, jumped a seasonally adjusted 4.1 percent from February to March, to 101.4. That’s the highest index level since April 2010, when the deadline for a federal homebuyer tax credit program loomed. The index was 111.3 then. Click here to read the full article

Business News

Exxon Raises Dividend 21%
The Irving, Texas-based company lifted its dividend by 21%, to 57 cents from 47 cents, payable on June 11 to shareholders of record on May 14.
The world’s largest publicly-traded oil company has increased its annual dividend every year for the last three decades, but the jump is usually conservative, averaging about 6.5% over the last 10 years. Click here to read the full article
Walmart: Buy Online, Pay With Cash
Walmart launched a novel new online payments plan on Thursday: “Pay with Cash,” or the ability to pay for goods online with actual cash in a physical store.
The idea is to allow customers to shop Walmart.com – which can have a broader selection of offerings than even the giant retailer can stock in a physical store – but allow them to pay for a purchase with cash. The new program reflects the reality that some Walmart customers who might be poor – or what Walmart calls “underbanked” or “unbanked” – may not own a debit or credit card to make an online purchase. Click here to read the full article
Chrysler earned $473 million in the first quarter of 2012
The performance, fueled by sales gains in the U.S. and Canada, was the company’s largest quarterly profit since 1998.

“It goes without saying that we are incredibly satisfied with the performance of Chrysler for the first quarter of this year,” Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “It has been undoubtedly a good market, but I think it is fair to say Chrysler has fired on all cylinders.” Click here to read the full article

Technology Focus

Apple Profit Rises 94% on Growing Global IPhone Demand
Net income in the fiscal second quarter climbed 94 percent to $11.6 billion, or $12.30 a share, as sales rose 59 percent to $39.2 billion, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement. Analysts had predicted profit of $10.02 a share on revenue of $36.9 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Click here to read the full article
Kindle Fire taking over Android side of tablet market, report says
The Kindle Fire appears to be burning up its competition — on the Android side, anyway.

Amazon.com Inc.’s tablet computer is catching on in a big way, having grabbed 54.4% of the Android tablet market by the end of February, the fourth month that it was on sale, according to new data from comScore Inc. That represented a near doubling of the Fire’s Android market share since December, when it was at 29.4%. Click here to read the full article

Netflix falls as analysts doubt subscriber target
Netflix Inc. shares tumbled in midday trading Tuesday as analysts expressed doubt that the company will reach its goal of adding 7 million subscribers to its streaming video service in the U.S. this year, especially with subpar growth in the first half. Click here to read the full article

Your Money

Economy’s Biggest Drag Right Now Is Government
Friday’s gross domestic product report confirmed what a drag government can be: While consumer spending grew at a 2.9 percent clip, state and local governments cut back spending by 1.2 percent on an annualized basis and the federal government pulled back by 5.6 percent. Click here to read the full article
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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