Market Focus


MasterCard’s first-quarter profit rose, thanks to an increase in consumer spending. Overall results at the world’s second largest credit-card company topped expectations. Separately, MasterCard warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to create domestic card payment system, would create complications for its operations in the country. Despite that shares rose a fraction to $74.22.


Soggy cereal sales continue to weigh on Kellogg. The food giant posted a bigger than expected fall in quarterly revenue as its breakfast division sales fell more than five percent. Cost-cutting helped the company beat earnings estimates. But investors focused on the weak sales number. The stock fell more than two percent to $65.37.


Avon will pay $135 million to settle a probe into whether it paid bribes in China and other countries to gain favors. The cosmetics company also reported first-quarter earnings that missed estimates. Sales dropped in every region as more of the company’s sales representatives left. Shares plunged ten percent to $13.72, making Avon the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 today.


LinkedIn posted an earnings and revenue beat after the closing bell. The social network for professionals saw its revenue from its recruiting business increase by 50 percent from last year. But its full-year revenue guidance was below consensus views. That sent the stock down initially in after-hours trading. Shares were up more than five percent in the regular trading session to $161.22.

Pfizer & AstraZeneca

There are reports that Pfizer may up its offer for Britain’s AstraZeneca to more than $106 billion and raise the cash portion of the deal. Earlier this week we told you that Pfizer approached its British rival twice about a takeover, only to be turned down. Shares of Pfizer fell on the news, down xx to $xx. AstraZeneca popped 2.5 percent to $81.09.


Cigna’s first-quarter profit surged on higher revenue from its group disability and life insurance businesses. Earnings easily topped estimates, but revenue came in slightly short of expectations. The insurer also upped its outlook, but the CEO says he’s still being cautious. Shares jumped 2.5 percent to $82.05.

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