Oct. 24 - Summary: Twitter plans IPO with lower-than-expected $11 billion valuation; Microsoft easily beat forecasts thanks to Office sales to corporate customers; Amazon.com sales rise and net loss falls. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street bounces back but not enough to send the S&P 500 to another lifetime high. It was the Dow that took the lead this time with its best one-day gain in just over a week. Details about Twitter's IPO continue to drip out a few characters at a time. The micro-blog plans to raise up to $1.44 billion in an offering that will value the company just under $11 billion. Twitter plans to sell 70 million shares between $17 and $20, according to an updated filing. Twitter already announced it will debut on the NYSE. Trading is expected to start sometime in November. Office proved to be big winner for Microsoft last quarter. The tech company easily beat earnings forecasts and sales jumped to a more than expected $18.5 billion. Sales of its flagship Office software to enterprise customers more than offset a weak showing for its Windows business. Amazon.com lost far less money in the third quarter than it did the same time last year. Sales rose as the company expands beyond just retail to a broader tech company selling devices and digital media downloads. An aggressive movement into overseas markets is also bringing in the cash. Carl Icahn is advancing his plan to unlock value in Apple. In a letter to CEO Tim Cook, posted on Icahn's new Shareholders Square Table website, the billionaire investor says Apple shares could be worth $1,250 within three years, if Apple heeds his call to do a $150 billion buyback. Shares of Apple climbed more than a full percent on word Icahn plans to increase his stake. Ford topped profit forecasts and raised its outlook for the year as foreign demand picked up and Europe looks less worse. On the economic docket, jobless claims were down less than expected, but glitches in California continue to skew the numbers. In Europe - stocks rallied with investors pleased with the latest batch of earnings.