Market Focus

BlackRock 

BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager reported better than expected earnings. The firm was helped by strong markets and strength across all of its offerings, sending profits up 11 percent in the quarter. But despite broad stock market gains, BlackRock’s actively managed U.S. equity business is still struggling. Still, BlackRock’s shares rose slightly to $325.17.

PNC Financial

PNC Financial’s profits came in better than expected, helped by cost-cutting efforts. But the bank said low-interest rates will continue to pressure revenue this year. Investors were concerned about that. Shares were down 3.5 percent to $85.18.

US Bancorp

US Bancorp’s earnings rose slightly in the second quarter topping analyst estimates. The nation’s largest regional lender was helped by a jump in commercial lending, offsetting a drop in loan margins and higher expenses. Still, shares fell almost two percent to $42.53.

General Electric

According to reports, General Electric is in talks to sell its household appliances business. That sale could fetch between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion. The move would be part of GE’s strategy to sell its businesses in the sectors where it is not a leading player or set for growth. Shares were up 1.5 percent to $27.02.

Hershey

Some troubling news for chocoholics, Hershey is increasing its prices because of a rally in cocoa costs. Hershey will up its candy prices by eight percent, its first increase in three years. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups maker also said it expects 2014 sales growth to be at the lower end of its long-term target. Shares fell about 2.5 percent to $92.34.

Yum Brands 

Yum Brands posted earnings that came in slightly above analyst estimates after the bell. The parent of KFC saw sales in China jump, as its recovering from a flu outbreak that slashed demand for chicken last year. It also affirmed its earnings outlook for the year. Shares were initially lower after the bell, during the regular session the stock was down a fraction to $82.71.

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