Closing Bell

Cerner, H&R Block end week with gains

Updated: 2013-04-26T22:35:42Z

Shareholders liked what they saw in Cerner Corp.’s quarterly earnings report released late Thursday. The North Kansas City based company reported revenue and profit increases for the quarter, but also a big boost in new orders for its line of health care information technology.

On Friday, shares in Cerner climbed nearly 5 percent, finishing the day with a gain of $4.22.

Other winners Friday included H&R Block, YRC, Compass Minerals and O’Reilly Automotive.

The loser, based on percentage changes, included DST, Sprint, Kansas City Southern, Kansas City Life, and Garmin.

Overall, the stock market stalled Friday after the U.S. economy didn't grow as much as hoped and earnings from a handful of big companies failed to rev up investors.

The economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, the government said. That was below the 3.1 percent forecast by economists.

The shortfall reinforced the perception that the economy is grinding, rather than charging, ahead. Investors have also been troubled by reports in the last month of weaker hiring, slower manufacturing and a drop in factory orders. Many economists see growth slowing to an annual rate of around 2 percent a year for the rest of the year.

U.S. government bonds, where investors seek safety, rose after the report.

“There are some concerns as we head into the summer,” said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist for TD Ameritrade. “In the last three weeks, we've seen numbers that weren't exactly what you'd love to see.”

Corporate earnings this week have also contained worrisome signs. Many companies missed revenue forecasts from financial analysts, even as they reported higher quarterly profits. For example, Goodyear Tire slipped 3.3 percent to $12.51 Friday after revenue fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by lower global tire sales.

Of the companies that have reported earnings so far, 70 percent have exceeded Wall Street's expectations, compared with a 10-year average of 62 percent, according to S&P Capital IQ. But 43 percent have missed revenue estimates. Just over half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported quarterly results.

The S&P 500 index dropped 2.92 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,582.24.

The Dow rose 11.75 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,712.55. The index got a big lift from Chevron. Profit for the U.S. oil company beat expectations of financial analysts in the first quarter, pushing shares up 1.3 percent to $120.04.

Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Both indexes were up for the week and remain slightly below their all-time highs reached April 11. The Dow index rose 1.1 percent this week while the S&P gained 1.7 percent.

The market has been bolstered by the Federal Reserve's easy money policy. The disappointing growth figure for the economy will ensure that the Fed sticks with its stimulus policy, providing support for stocks, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

“The economic data that we've been getting points to no early exit for the Fed's stimulus,” Cardillo said.

The Nasdaq composite fell 10.72 points to 3,279.26, a decline of 0.3 percent. The index is 2.3 percent higher this week.

The BATS 1000 fell 51.71 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 17,887.03.

Regional stocks

Capitol Federal Financial fell 3 cents, or 0.25%, to close at $11.88.

Cerner Corp. rose $4.22, or 4.60%, to close at $95.88.

Commerce Bancshares Inc. fell 28 cents, or 0.70%, to close at $39.68.

Compass Minerals rose 33 cents, or 0.41%, to close at $81.31.

DST Systems Inc. fell $1.47, or 2.10%, to close at $68.53.

Ferrellgas Partners L.P. fell 25 cents, or 1.25%, to close at $19.81.

Garmin Ltd. fell 59 cents, or 1.67%, to close at $34.72.

Great Plains Energy fell 5 cents, or 0.21%, to close at $23.74.

H&R Block Inc. rose 63 cents, or 2.25%, to close at $28.66.

Inergy L.P. fell 26 cents, or 1.19%, to close at $21.59.

Kansas City Life Insurance Co. fell 44 cents, or 1.22%, to close at $35.71.

Kansas City Southern fell 70 cents, or 0.65%, to close at $106.64.

Layne Christensen Co. fell 2 cents, or 0.10%, to close at $19.14.

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. rose 31 cents, or 0.29%, to close at $106.44.

Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 2 cents, or 0.28%, to close at $7.12.

UMB Financial Corp. fell 13 cents, or 0.26%, to close at $49.67.

Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 3 cents, or 0.07%, to close at $41.57.

YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 13 cents, or 1.83%, to close at $7.22.

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