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Morning Market Roundup: FedEx Says Economy Worse, Apple Shares at Highest Yet, U.S. Homebuilder 'Confidence' Up

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Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

FedEx: FedEx Corp. says the global economy is worsening and it's cutting its forecast for the fiscal year ending in May.

The world's second largest package delivery company also said Tuesday that net income for the current quarter ending in November should fall well below last year's quarter. The stock lost about 2 percent in pre-market trading.

The Memphis, Tenn. company now expects to earn between $6.20 and $6.60 per share for the full fiscal year, compared with a previous forecast of $6.90 to $7.40 per share.

In the three months that ended in August, FedEx Corp. earned $459 million, or $1.45 per share. That hit the top end of its recently lowered estimate. Revenue rose 3 percent to $10.79 billion. It earned $464 million, or $1.46 per share, on revenue of $10.52 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

U.S. Homebuilders: Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six years as some expect the housing recovery will strengthen in the next six months.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder "sentiment index" (yes, that's a thing) increased to 40, up from 37 in August. That's the highest reading since June 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

But a measure of builders' outlook for sales in the next six months rose to 51. That's up from 43 in August and also the highest level since June 2006.

The survey is based on responses from 445 builders. It has been trending higher since October.

Apple: Apple's $1 billion court win against Samsung is translating into a much bigger jump in its market value.

Apple shares were up $11.98, or 1.8 percent, at $675.26 in morning trading Monday.

That boosts Apple Inc.'s market capitalization, already the highest in the world, by $11 billion to $633 billion.

In opening trading, Apple shares hit $680.87, a new all-time high.

Late Friday, a nine-person federal jury in Silicon Valley found that some of Samsung's products illegally copied features and designs from Apple's iPhone and iPad.

U.S. Stocks: Stocks were off to a slow start on Wall Street Tuesday after FedEx said it's seeing more weakness in the global economy. Markets in Europe fell, and so did oil prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down four points at 13,549 after the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,458 and the Nasdaq composite lost four points to 3,174.

Oil prices fell 48 cents to $96.13 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil had hit $100 per barrel in recent days but dropped $4 per barrel in late trading Monday. The drop looked like a trading glitch at first, but with prices continuing lower on Tuesday it began to look more like a legitimate sell-off as concerns about the lethargic economy persisted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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