Stocks edge higher on Wall Street; Amazon surges
ASSOCIATED PRESS April 27, 2012 9:24AM
In an April 23, 2012 photo Robert Arciero, right, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street headed for a mixed opening Friday April 27, 2012, with Dow Jones industrial futures slipping marginally while the S&P 500 futures fell 0.1 percent (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Updated: April 27, 2012 12:44PM
NEW YORK — Stocks are trading slightly higher Friday as investors weigh corporate profit gains against disappointing economic news.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points to 13,236 at midday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 edged up two points to 1,402. The Nasdaq composite rose 15 points to 3,065.
Amazon soared 15 percent after the online retailer reported a big increase in shipments. Online travel agency Expedia Inc. surged 28 percent on higher profits from its hotel-booking business
The market’s gains were checked by a government report that U.S. economic growth slowed in the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, below the 2.5 percent rate economists had expected. It grew at a faster rate, 3 percent, in the final three months of 2011.
European stock markets rose as investors shrugged off another downgrade of Spain’s debt. The credit rating agency S&P warned that the Spain would have trouble paying down its debt with its economy in recession. Adding to its woes, Spain also reported its unemployment rate rose to nearly 25 percent, its highest in 18 years.
Spain’s IBEX rose 1.7 percent, France’s CAC-40 1.1 percent and Germany’s DAX 0.9 percent.
However the yields on Spanish and Italian government bonds rose, a sign that investors are still uneasy about the ability of those countries to service their debt. The yield on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond rose 0.08 percentage point to 5.87 percent. Italy’s 10-year yield rose 0.11 point to 5.64 percent.
In the U.S., Procter & Gamble fell 3 percent after the consumer products giant reported a 16 percent profit slump for the first three months of the year on higher costs for raw materials and restructuring charges. The maker of Bounty paper towels and Luv diapers said it would be rolling back some price increases to compensate.
Starbucks slid 6 percent after the coffee company reported a slowdown of sales in Europe.