Most US stocks advanced on Wednesday as investors assessed a mixed bag of corporate earnings from companies including Norfolk Southern Corp., Coach Inc., International Business Machines Corp.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 41 points, or 0.25%, at 16,373. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up one point, or 0.06%, at 1,845. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 17 points, or 0.41%, at 4,243.
International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) shed 3.3% after the tech giant missed revenue expectations for a fourth straight quarter amid weakening demand, particularly in growth markets like China.
IBM's decline offset modest gains from fellow component United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), which rose 1% after it reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates, although revenue was shy of expectations.
Shares of Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) surged 17% in after-hours trading after the company reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by subscriber growth. Online auction site eBay Inc (EBAY.O) surged 11% after the bell following its results.
In other corporate earnings, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.N) declined 12% after forecasting a steeper-than-expected fall in current quarter revenue, while Coach Inc (COH.N) tumbled 6% after it said sales in North America fell further in the final quarter of 2013.
On the positive side, Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N) surged 4.8% after its earnings beat expectations.
Nuance Communications (NUAN.O) gained 7.8% after giving a first-quarter outlook, helping to boost the Nasdaq.
US-listed shares of BlackBerry (BBRY.O) also buoyed the tech-heavy index, jumping 8.6%.
In Asia, shares fell on Thursday in late morning trade after private gauge of China’s manufacturing in January unexpectedly contracted.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.6% to 139 as of 10:55 a.m. in Tokyo. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both dropped 1.2%.
South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.4%. Japan’s Topix index swung between gains and losses.