Morning Brief: Apple shares surge after delivering on iPhone sales

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What to watch today

REUTERS/Noah Berger/File Photo

In a busy week of earnings and economic news, two of the biggest lightning rod organizations in the business and economics field will make major announcements — Tesla (TSLA) and the Federal Reserve.

At 2 p.m. ET, the Fed will release its latest policy statement, which is not expected to see any changes to its target benchmark interest rate range of 1.5%-1.75%. Fed Chair Jay Powell will not hold a press conference following the decision and no updated economic projections will be released. And so while Wednesday’s Fed announcement should not be a major market-moving decision, the minutes of this meeting released in a couple weeks should be closely watched as economic developments since the Fed’s last meeting — notably an increase in trade tensions — have clouded the economic outlook somewhat.

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Top news

Apple earnings beat, iPhone sales in-line: Apple (AAPL) sold 52.2 million iPhones during the quarter, which was just about in line with analysts’ estimates, which called for the company to sell 52.3 million iPhones. The company posted earnings of $2.73 per share on $61.1 billion of revenue, beating analyst expectations. Apple’s board also approved a new $100 billion share buyback authorization and a 16% increase in its quarterly dividend. Shares were up 4% in after hours trading Tuesday. [Yahoo Finance]

Snap shares sink as redesign weighs on results: Snap Inc. (SNAP) fell short of Wall Street forecasts for revenue and regular users, sending its shares tumbling 16% on Tuesday. The number of daily active users on Snapchat, crucial for generating advertising revenue, rose to 191 million in the quarter ended March 31, short of consensus expectations of 194.15 million. [Reuters]

Private equity firm wins bid for Weinstein Co.The Weinstein Co., the studio forced into bankruptcy by the sexual misconduct scandal that brought down Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, announced in a statement that no other bidder made a better offer than Dallas-based Lantern Capital, which made a “stalking-horse” bid last month to pay $310 million in cash for the Weinstein Co.’s assets. The emergence of another qualified bidder would have triggered an auction leading to higher sale price. [Reuters]

Large money manger is moving to Nashville:  AllianceBernstein Holding plans to relocate its headquarters, chief executive and most of its New York staff to Nashville, Tenn., in an attempt to cut costs, according to people familiar with the matter. That largely ends a 51-year presence in the nation’s traditional finance capital. The firm has been under extreme pressure from the rising popularity of index-tracking funds and low-cost investing. [The Wall Street Journal]

Icahn and Deason oust Xerox CEOXerox Corp. (XRX) said its CEO and most of its board will step down to settle a suit by activist shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, handing over to new management which will reconsider a contentious deal with Fujifilm Holdings.The move is a triumph for Icahn and Deason, who together hold 15% of Xerox. [Reuters]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

A performance of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” in New York. The Tony Awards race is dominated by big established brands, including Disney’s “Frozen,” J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” franchise, Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” and Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.” The nominations for the 72nd Tony Awards was announced on Tuesday, May 1. (Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.