Apr. 23 - Summary of business headlines: Apple plans to return $100 billion to shareholders, Q1 results beat; Yum sales hurt by China bird flu; Stocks rally one percent to recover from fake AP tweet; Coach climbs 10 percent after earnings surprise; New home sales rebound in March. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Corporate scorecards were brighter than they have been in recent days - giving the Dow its first triple-digit rally in a week. There was a minor trading hiccup during the regular session. A momentary plunge in stock prices occurred after a tweet from a hacked Associated Press account said the White House had been attacked. The AP quickly said the tweet was not genuine and suspended that Twitter account. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Dan Gallagher: SOUNDBITE: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSIONER DAN GALLAGHER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It will be interesting, I think, for us to look into this. Obviously, it is important for us to understand what happened and to make sure that no investors were harmed." Markets quickly recovered from the hoax - finishing the day with across the board gains of at least one percent. After the close, Apple is digging deep to return capital to its shareholders. The tech company plans to return $100 billion to investors by the end of 2015. Apple's quarterly sales and profits came in ahead of lowered expectations. Yum Brands is taking a hit from an outbreak of bird flu in China. Sales there were down 20 percent in the first quarter. Over half of all of Yum's sales come from that one country. Global revenues came in below analyst consensus, but profits beat. Coach's quarterly sales results exceeded projections. The beat - lending hope the retailer is on the right track in trying to re-invest itself as a "lifestyle brand." Netflix continued to bask in the glow of better-than-expected earnings and net new subscriber figures were also ahead of forecasts. The stock surged 24 percent and was the top percentage gainer at the NASDAQ. Shares of Coach jumped close to 10 percent by session's end. New home sales rose 1-1/2 percent in March, reversing a drop the month before. Homebuilders like Toll Brothers and Lennar - among the biggest percentage gainers of the day. In Europe - stocks had their best one-day gain in more than seven months despite weak signals from Europe and China.