Investing.com - U.S. stock markets were mixed after the open on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq coming under pressure following Apple’s disappointing fiscal first quarter earnings report released after markets closed Monday.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.25%, while the Nasdaq Composite index shed 0.5%.
Ahead of the open, the U.S. Commerce Department said that total durable goods orders tumbled 4.3% last month, disappointing expectations for a 1.8% gain. Core durable goods orders declined by 1.6% in December, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% increase.
Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, fell 1.3% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.5% gain.
Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, dipped 0.2% in December, disappointing expectations for a 0.1% gain, after rising 2.3% in the preceding month.
Traders now readied for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and possible news on the fate of the central bank’s bond buying program. The policy meeting will mark the last for outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as current Vice Chair Janet Yellen prepares to take over.
Market analysts expect the Fed to cut its bond buying program to USD65 billion from the current USD75 billion. The central bank announced its first cut to the USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases in December, citing an improving economy.
Apple saw shares tumble 7.5% after the tech giant said iPhone sales fell short of market expectations and the company''s fiscal second quarter revenue guidance came in below consensus.
Meanwhile, Ford saw shares gain 1.2% after the largest U.S. automaker reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue.
Pfizer shares climbed 2.9% after the pharmaceutical giant posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue figures.
Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, rose 2.35% after the company reported better-than-expected fourth quarter revenue figures.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.4%, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.65%, Germany''s DAX tacked on 0.4%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 inched up 0.3%.
The U.K. economy grew 0.7% in the final quarter of 2013, to record the fastest annual rate of growth since 2007, according to preliminary data released by the Office of National Statistics on Tuesday.
Asian stock markets stabilized on Tuesday following two straight sessions of sharp losses, but caution prevailed amid fears over further turmoil in emerging markets.
Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.06%, China’s Shanghai Composite index added 0.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped 0.17%.
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