NEW YORK — Whipsawed by strong earnings from some companies, weak ones from others, including the once infallible Apple, investors couldn’t make up their mind whether to buy or sell on Wednesday. In the end, they mostly sold, but barely.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.42, or 0.03 percent, to end 1,337.89. The tiny loss extended the broad index’s losses to a fourth straight day. A big reason was Apple, which dropped $22.12 to $578.80, a loss of 4 percent. A sharp drop in new home sales also fed the selling.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.73, or 0.5 percent, to 12,676.05. That snapped a three-day, triple-digit losing streak for the index. Helping the Dow were big gains from two of its components, Boeing and Caterpillar.
The Nasdaq lagged the broader market, giving up 0.3 percent, or 8.75, to close at 2,854.24.
DEARBORN, Mich. — Just three years after Ford revived its American business, the company is planning an even trickier turnaround in Europe, where mounting losses weighed down its second-quarter results.
Ford’s net income fell 57 percent to $1 billion in the April-June period, largely because of a $404 million loss in Europe. Car sales there have tumbled to 20-year lows because consumers lack confidence in the economy. Ford expects to lose more than $1 billion in Europe in 2012, double its estimate from the beginning of the year.
The company wouldn’t give details about its turnaround plans on Wednesday, but analysts say layoffs and plant closures are inevitable. Europe is vital to Ford. A quarter of its sales and profits come from the region.
TOKYO — Toyota bounced back from safety recalls and natural disasters, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally in the first half of the year to retake its crown as the world’s top automaker from General Motors.
The company sold about 300,000 more cars and trucks than GM, a lead large enough that it will be difficult for GM to catch Toyota in the second half of 2012.
NEW YORK — Sandy Weill is having a change of heart. Weill, the aggressive dealmaker who built Citigroup on the idea that in banking, bigger is better, said Wednesday that he believes big banks should be broken up.
Speaking on CNBC, the 79-year-old said consumer banking units should be split from riskier investment banking units. That would mean dismembering Citigroup as well as other big banks.
NEW YORK — The head of the company that owns Newsweek says the longtime newsweekly is examining its future as a weekly print magazine.
IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller said Wednesday that while Newsweek’s “brand is good” around the world, producing a weekly news magazine in print form isn’t easy. Diller says IAC is examining all options and will have a plan in the coming months.
NEW YORK — Bloomin’ Brands Inc., owner of the Outback Steakhouse chain, is seeking as much as $321 million in a U.S. initial public offering. Bloomin’ Brands owns and operates about 1,250 restaurants under banners including Outback, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill. The IPO is scheduled for Aug. 7, according to Bloomberg. The chain will be listed on the Nasdaq.