Mortgage applications up, FOX beat out expectations and Yum! Brand (YUM) facing tougher recovery

Markets closed slightly lower on Wednesday after mortgage applications rose last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their seasonally adjusted index of mortgage activity grew 1.3% for the week ending on January 30. The index accounts for refinancing applications and home purchase applications. Refinancing applications grew 2.5% on their own, and home sales dropped 2.3%. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate came in at 3.79%. A level this low has not been recorded since May 2013. Lynn Fisher, the Vice President of Research and Economics at MBS, said, “Following several weeks of already elevated refinance activity due to falling interest rates, FHA refinance applications increased 76.5 percent in response to a reduction in annual mortgage insurance premiums which took effect January 26.”

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox, (FOX) were trading slightly higher after the media giant beat out analysts expectations. Net income came in at $6.21 billion, or $2.88 per share. This was up from $1.21 billion, or 53 cents per share this time last year. Revenue was up to $8.16 billion. Analysts were expecting FOX to post revenue of $7.36 billion. The positive results were helped by the sale of their satellite business, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, for a total of $5.04 billion. Rupert Murdoch, Chief Executive, said, “We delivered solid quarterly results despite continuing currency headwinds and ratings challenges at the Fox broadcast network.”

Shares of Yum! Brands (YUM) closed slightly higher after the company reported that recovery in China is taking longer than originally expected. The company said that they are still facing issues from the safety problem they dealt with involving a supplier. Yum! said that they had adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share; this is down 29% from this time last year. Revenue came in at $4 billion. Analysts were predicting earnings of 66 cents per share on $3.97 billion in revenue.

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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