Markets muted despite Apple, Facebook

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 9:37 am •  Published: April 24, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Solid earnings from Apple helped shore up global markets on Thursday despite other disappointing earnings and an earlier hefty retreat in Tokyo.

As well as delivering forecast-busting numbers, Apple impressed investors in its after-hours statement Wednesday with news that it is earmarking an additional $30 billion for buying back its stock through next year. The move, which is designed to give its stock price a lift following a period of relative underperformance, takes the total for that timeframe up to $90 billion.

Despite a 7 percent rise in Apple's stock Thursday, U.S. stock indexes drifted as some of the shine faded after results from the likes of Raytheon and 3M came up short of forecasts. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1 percent at 16,492 while the broader S&P 500 index rose 0.1 percent to 1,877.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.2 percent at 6,686 while Germany's DAX fell 0.6 percent to 9,490. The CAC-40 in France was 0.2 percent higher at 4,459.

U.S. economic data failed to have much of an impact on trading as solid orders for longer-lasting U.S. goods was offset by a surprisingly big 25,000 increase in weekly jobless claims.