U.S. indices are mixed at the midpoint of trading on Friday, with the Nasdaq representing the only index in the green. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are both falling amid the worst quarter for earnings in over six years.
With the majority of U.S. companies already reporting their results from the previous quarter, earnings for S&P companies were down 4% from the year-ago period, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Most of the decline is attributable to oil companies. Excluding them, earnings rose 1.7% last quarter.
Revenues also fell 2.5% year over year.
Nordstom (JWN) was tanking -- down over 6% -- after the retailer missed analysts' top- and bottom-line expectations. Weak holiday-season results were partially responsible for the underwhelming quarter.
Deere & Co. (DE) shares were falling on heavy volume after the company beat analysts' bottom-line first-quarter expectations, but also cut its full-year economic outlook. The company lowered its earnings forecast to $1.3 billion from $1.4 billion as equipment sales are expected to fall 10% this fiscal year.
On the positive side of the market, Groupon (GRPN) was up 12.5% in afternoon trading, continuing to spike after Alibaba (BABA) revealed that it purchased a 5.6% stake in the company. "It might not be too early to buy Groupon anymore, I'm going positive on Groupon," Real Money's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's Squawk on the Street Thursday morning.
Applied Materials (AMAT) shares were jumping nearly 10% following its earnings beat today. The company topped analysts' $0.25 per share earnings expectations by $0.01. Revenue for the quarter was in line with analyst expectations.
Finally, shares of Weight Watchers (WTW) are up almost 20% this afternoon after Indiana University researchers found that the weight loss program can help prevent diabetes. "These data show that Weight Watchers provides an effective and accessible approach to diabetes prevention without the need to create additional infrastructure, disseminate complex treatment programs, and train new treatment providers," the study said.