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Positive Corporate Earnings Bolstered SPY

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Key stocks

Apple (AAPL) gained 4.1% on October 28, 2015, after announcing its quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday, October 27. The report beat analysts’ expectations. Sales of iPhones were more than 48 million in the quarter.

The following graph compares the performances of Apple (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and NetApp (NTAP) since July 2015.

Three large Chinese companies are vying for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT), and now Hyatt Hotels is also in talks to buy HOT. Stocks for HOT have been rising since Tuesday, October 27, gaining 6.3% on October 28.

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Stocks at the top and the bottom

Stocks at the top of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) on October 28 were Avon Products (AVP), Genworth Financial (GNW), and L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL). These stocks gained 11.6%, 10.3%, and 9.6%, respectively, that day.

LLL, an aerospace and defense stock, is expected to beat market estimates for corporate earnings, and thus its stock rose on Wednesday, October 28, ahead of its quarterly earnings release.

Stocks at the bottom of SPY on October 28 were Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), and Hershey (HSY). These stocks yielded -16.7%, -10.7%, and -6.5%, respectively, on the day.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) was downgraded to “market-perform” from “outperform” by Cowen, even after beating market expectations for its third quarter results. This was because the company lowered its guidance for the fourth quarter. The stock was downgraded by JP Morgan and Canaccord Genuity from “overweight” to “neutral” and “hold”, respectively.

Hershey (HSY) declined after the largest chocolate maker reported its third quarter earnings results on October 28. The company reported revenue of $1.96 billion against the estimated $1.98 billion and EPS (earnings per share) of $1.17 compared to the estimated $1.13. Third-quarter earnings showed a 31% decline in revenue from the third quarter of 2014. The company lowered its full-year sales outlook, as the restructuring charges and weak demand for candy, mint, and gum impacted its US earnings.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the UK stock markets on October 28.

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