As earnings season gets underway in the U.S., investors are looking to cash-rich corporations to help draw the American economy out of the doldrums it's sunk into. But in many cases, the inherent pessimism of shell-shocked investors is proving difficult to overcome – and some big winners seem so overbought that expectations are impossibly high.
Take Apple, which saw its profits surge 70 percent to $4.31 billion on a record revenue of $20.34 billion. This handily beat analyst estimates – but the stock collapsed about 6 percent in post-close trading, reflecting both profit-taking and an investor focus on the negative over the positive. Because iPad sales fell short and Apple's projections for the next quarter were lower than analysts' guesses, the stock sold off.
Sell-offs in IBM and other major firms helped put pressure on U.S. stock index futures.
Dow Jones Industrial Average index futures slipped 43 points to 11,002, while S&P 500 futures lost 7.9 points to 1,170.3 at 8:48 a.m. EST. Nasdaq 100 index futures dropped 23.25 points to 2,071.25, as the emphasis on tech shares took its toll.
Other notable losses took place as the announcement of a new foreign investment tax hammered Brazilian shares; Bovespa index futures crashed 907 points to 71,870 at 8:43 a.m. EST.
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