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Stocks little changed...Durable goods orders fall...An upside surprise from Boeing

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 11:50am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have been moving between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street. Traders are looking at a mixed bag of earnings reports from Apple, Ford, Boeing and other major U.S. companies. Online game maker Zynga reports after the closing bell today. Later this week, earnings are expected from Dow Chemical, Southwest Airlines, UPS, Exxon Mobil and Burger King.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month, while orders that reflect business investment plans rose slightly. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods declined 5.7 percent in March, after a 4.3 percent gain the previous month. February's figure was revised lower. The March decline was exacerbated by a 48.2 percent fall in commercial aircraft orders. Orders for so-called core capital goods, which include machinery and equipment, ticked up 0.2 percent.

UNDATED (AP) -- Despite its troubles with the 787, Boeing says its net income rose 20 percent in the first quarter. The airplane maker earned $1.11 billion, or $1.44 per share. Excluding pension contributions, it would have earned $1.73 per share, well above analyst expectations. Revenue fell 3 percent to $18.89 billion because Boeing delivered just one 787 before the plane was grounded in mid-January because of problems with its batteries. The company says it will still meet its financial and delivery targets this year.

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford says net income rose 15 percent in the first quarter to $1.6 billion as record North American profits overcame weakness in Europe and South America. Ford beat Wall Street's forecast with earnings of 40 cents per share, up from 35 cents in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue was also higher than expected, rising 10 percent to $35.8 billion. Ford earned $2.4 billion in North America, offsetting a $462 million loss in Europe, where Ford's sales fell 20 percent during the quarter.

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota has made it through the first quarter with its status as the world's top-selling automaker intact. But General Motors and Volkswagen are close behind. Toyota says it sold 2.43 million vehicles from January through March, outpacing U.S. automaker General Motors Co. by fewer than 69,000 vehicles. Toyota's first-quarter sales declined 2.2 percent from a year earlier, while those for GM were up 3.6 percent and Volkswagen's jumped 5.1 percent.

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