The Dow Jones Industrial Average was able to close the day in positive territory, but the Nasdaq and S&P 500 weren't able to make it back into the green before the day's end.
The Dow rose 0.16% , or 41 points, to 26,252 while the Nasdaq fell 0.6%, or 45 points, to 7,415 and the S&P declined 0.05%, or 1.55 points, to 2,837.
LG Tells Retailers It Will Raise the Price of Washers
South Korean electronics maker LG Electronics sent a memo to its retail partners saying that it will raise the price of its washing machines in response to the Trump administration's decision to put tariffs on all imported washing machines, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration slapped a 20% tariff on the first 1.2 million washing units annually. The tariff rises to 50% for ever unit imported after that. There is also a 50% tariff on imported washer parts.
Experts told the WSJ that they expect LG's price increase to be in the $50 range.
AAA Survey Reveals Distrust for Self-Driving Cars
About 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride this year than would have last year, according to a AAA survey, however, the majority of U.S. drivers still wouldn't be down for the ride.
73% of the people surveyed consider themselves better-than-average drivers. Eight in 10 men say that they are above-average drivers.
There does seem to be a majority of drivers who want some aspects of autonomous driving systems like features that help avoid crashes. But 63% of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, compared to 78% who felt that way last year.
Dollar Hits 3-year Low
The U.S. dollar was trading at a three-year low against a basket of global currencies after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin advocated for a weak dollar as a way to bolster trade.
"A weaker dollar is good for trade," Mnuchin said. "In the longer term, a stronger dollar is a reflection of the strength of the U.S. economy."
Metals and emerging assets rose in conjunction with the comments even as Treasury yields also rose to a three-year high.
The dollar was trading at 89.99 Wednesday afternoon, a 1% decline from its late Tuesday level. The dollar has fallen 13% from its peak in December 2016.
Gulfstream Jets are Popular Once Again
Let the good times roll.
Planemaker General Dynamics Corp. (GD) had an okay quarter and conservative guidance for the current year, but the aspect that stuck out most to RBC Capital analysts was the performance of the company's Gulfstream private and business jets.
Gulfstream orders increased 20% year over year in the fourth quarter, driven entirely by large-cabin aircraft. CEO Phebe Novakovic was particularly bullish during the earnings call on the GS650, which is the company's highest margin aircraft, announcing that orders were up 78% year over year.
"We see Gulfstream as an underappreciated beneficiary of tax reform as its customers should have more after-tax cash, and capex is incentivized," RBC analyst Matthew McConnell wrote in his note.
Before passage, the tax reform bill was criticized for a provision that seemed to provide tax breaks for the owner of private jets. Language in the bill would exempt "aircraft owners" from taxes on the "maintenance and support of the aircraft owner's aircraft or flights on the aircraft owner's aircraft."
GE to Restate 2016,2017 Results
The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into General Electric's (GE) accounting practices following the company's own review of its insurance business.
The company also announced that it plans to restate its 2016 and 2017 results and in the last stages of finalizing the updates.
"We are cooperating fully with the investigation, which is in very early stages," CFO James Miller said.
GE shares are down 1.1% Wednesday morning.
Qualcomm Fined by EU Over Apple Chip Supply
"Qualcomm paid billions of U.S. dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals. These payments were not just reductions in price - they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads," the European Competition Commission said in a statement.
The fine is equivalent to 4.9% of Qualcomm's 2017 turnover. Apple will not be punished in the case.
Apple's relationship with Qualcomm has strained in recent years wiht Apple suing the company for nearly $1 billion in patent royalty rebates that it says Qualcomm withheld from the company.
Toys "R" Us to Close 180 Stores
Struggling toy retailer Toys "R" Us said it plans to close 180 stores across the U.S. as the company looks to position itself for profitability once it emerges from bankruptcy restructuring.
"The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus," Chairman and CEO David Brandon wrote Tuesday in a memo to customers. "The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company."
Toys "R" Us has about 880 stores in the U.S.
Texas Instruments Falls as Rev Growth Slows
Investors were hitting the "off" button on shares of Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) in premarket trading on Wednesday, Jan. 24, following the chipmaker's earnings release.
Shares were down more than 7% after the Dallas-based company failed to top Wall Street's bottom-line expectations for the first time in at least two years.
Texas Instruments earned $1.09 a share on an adjusted basis in the quarter, matching Wall Street's estimates, on revenue of $3.75 billion vs. expectations of $3.74 billion.
Texas Instruments also said that it expected revenue growth to decline to 7% in the current quarter from 10% the previous quarter. That level is below the 12% to 13% revenue growth the company reported in the first three quarters of 2017.
GE Gains Ground Despite Dismal Quarter
Shares of General Electric (GE) were up more than 2% premarket after the company reported a 5% decline in fourth-quarter revenue and a profit loss of $10 billion. Last week the company announced it would take an $11 billion charge for insurance losses and taxes.
On an adjusted per-share basis, GE earned 27 cents per share on revenue of $31.4 billion. Analysts on average were expecting the company to report earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $32.87 billion.
For the year, GE provided earnings guidance between $1 and $1.07 per share.
U.S. futures were pointed higher across the board as the Dow looks to recover from the slight dip it experienced in trading during Tuesday's session.
Dow futures contracts were up 0.3%, Nasdaq futures up 0.15% and S&P futures rose 0.2% ahead of Wednesdays opening bell.
In Asia, the Nikkei was the lone laggard among the major indices, falling 0.76% on the day. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite rose 0.08% and 0.37% respectively.
European markets were struggling Wednesday, showing red across the board with the FTSE 100 in London leading the way lower minus 0.5% with about four hours left in trading.