McDonald's CEO Don Thompson is out; Facebook reports better-than-expected results; Qualcomm warns; Stocks close lower after Fed comments. Bobbi Rebell reports.
McDonalds's CEO Don Thompson is out. The struggling fast food giant opting for a change in leadership. Facebook fourth quarter results coming in very strong beating forecasts. Revenue surging close to 50 percent. Mobile a huge growth area. Eighty six percent of the company's 1.39 billion monthly users access its service on mobile devices. Qualcomm cut its outlook for fiscal 2015, saying it expects its newest snapdragon mobile chip will not be used in a major customers flagship smartphone, sending its shares lower in after hours, and overshadowing its better-than-expected quarterly results. Stocks turned south after the Federal Reserve again said it would remain "patient" in deciding when to raise interest rates. And Treasury bond yields burrowed deeper yet again. PNC Financial's chief economist Stuart Hoffman: SOUNDBITE: STUART HOFFMAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think the bottom line, the Fed is saying, 'We're still on schedule for mid-year, summer initial rate hike but then going very slowly." The Fed statement cut short an earlier rally driven by strong earnings from Apple and Boeing. Apple's mushrooming pile of cash and eye-popping earnings have some analysts speculating the iPhone maker could return more than $200 billion to investors in dividends and buybacks. Investors piled into the stock after it reported the biggest ever quarterly profit by a public company, $18 billion. Morningstar analyst Brian Colello: SOUNDBITE: BRIAN COLELLO, ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Certainly, we can see an expansion of their big buyback program in the $100 billion range or may be even higher. I think $200 billion is a bit too optimistic." Making the biggest advance among blue chips: Boeing. The aerospace giant delivered a record number of planes, and that fueled profit sharply higher. Touchdown for Electronic Arts, the biggest gainer on the S&P. Huge sales of games for mobile phones and older consoles drove revenue up nearly 40 percent at the publisher of video games like "Madden NFL" and "FIFA." Western Digital sold more solid-state drives at higher prices, and that drove earnings higher. The hard drive manufacturer is expanding its presence in cloud data storage products to combat the weakness in the PC market. The strong U.S. dollar and falling steel prices hurt profit at U.S. Steel, but the results beat estimates, sending the shares higher. In Europe, Greek stocks slid again. But Apple's blowout results lifted European tech stocks higher, so stocks overall ended flat.