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The Markets Now: Zynga Surges on Online Gambling News


Target posts fourth-quarter earnings, and Apple rumors abound.


Stocks continued to move higher Wednesday, despite the impending sequester and mixed economic reports. Lawmakers have not moved to prevent across the board spending cuts of $85 billion.

Durable goods orders for January fell 5.2% after an increase of 3.7% in the prior month. It was a 1.2% sharper fall than analysts expected. On the upside, machinery orders went up 13.5% and electrical equipment orders increased 1.4%. Computers and electronics were down 5.3%.

The pending home sales index rose higher than expected, to 105.9, up 4.5%. It is the highest the index has been since April of 2010.

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 0.66% to 13991.51 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) moved up 0.78% to 1508.59. The Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 0.95% to 3,159.31.

Target (NYSE:TGT) reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations despite what Target said was soft demand for seasonal items. Revenue increased 7% to $22.73 billion from $22.29 billion in last year's fourth quarter. Shares fell 1.83% to $62.90.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) announced it would cut 17,000 jobs by the end of 2014. The cuts are estimated to save JPMorgan $1 billion each year. Its shares ascended 2.50% to $48.78.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) fourth-quarter sales exceeded analyst expectations of 6.2%, rising 8%. Net profit fell by 4.9%, however, to $1.76 billion compared to $1.85 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Shares moved up 0.98% to $92.70.

The European Commission blocked Ryanair's (NASDAQ:RYAAY) bid to acquire Aer Lingus Group PLC (LON:AERL) saying the deal would hurt competition in the region. Ryanair shares edged up 0.44% to $38.40.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation for online gambling not long after Nevada approved online gambing. Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares surged 6.79% as the gaming company is expected to profit from the breakthrough in legal barriers.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is having its annual meeting today, where executives are expected to discuss a possible stock split. Though the split rumor had been discussed for days, shares went up after President of Seabreeze Partners hedge fund Douglas Kass' sent out a tweet on the subject. Its shares fell 0.33% to $447.36.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) stock is still high at $5.67, up 2.14% after posting positive fourth-quarter earnings yesterday.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) is expected to report a loss of $0.15 a share to $0.22 a share in the fourth quarter in comparison to its profit of $0.74 a share a year ago. The stock has fallen nearly 40% since CEO Ron Johnson took the helm. Its stock price declined 1.71% to $20.66.

Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) stock was buoyed by a fourth quarter profit that increased 28% from a year ago. The company earned $5.63 a share from $4.41 a share a year earlier. Shares moved up 3.15% to $700.00.

Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:MNST) will post earnings Wednesday, which analysts expect to come in lower than in the last quarter. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that energy drink-related emergency room visits doubled from 2007 to 2011. Shares rose 1.25% to $49.56.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) said it would start making chips for Altera Corp (NASDAQ:ALTR). The technology would be used for cloud networking and military purposes. The stock edged up 0.87%.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares rose 1.20% to $262.60 after it announced a content licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) which may signal the company is ready to mimic Apple's iCloud business.

Fortress Investment Group (NYSE:FIG) profits doubled in the fourth quarter, rising to $107 million from $50 million a year ago. Total revenue increased to $417.6 million from $276.3 million in the same time period. Its stock moved up 2.25% to $6.37.

Tribune Company (PINK:TRBAA) hired investment banks to consider selling the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others. There has been speculation as to whether or not News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) would acquire those newspapers. Its shares rose 1.57% to $29.14.

Gold futures were down 11.7 at 1603.8. Crude oil futures were up 0.16 to 92.79.

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