Single family home starts up, IBM stock down and Netflix (NFLX) to speed up expansion

Markets were heading higher on Wednesday after single-family housing starts reached their highest level in over six years. The Commerce Department said that starts jumped up 7.2% to an annual pace of 728,000 units. A level this high hasn’t been seen since March of 2008. Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, said, “The last piece of the economic puzzle is starting to come together now as housing construction is coming back. The housing market is continuing to heal.” The positive data on single-family homes overshadowed the slight decline in multiple-family homes. There was a decline of 0.8% in the multiple-family homes.

Shares of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) were sinking after the company posted earnings that were lower than this time last year. Fourth-quarter earnings came in at $5.81 per share, which surpassed analysts’ expectation. However the data was down 6% from this time last year. Operating income from continued operations dropped 13% to a total of $5.8 billion. Chief Financial Officer, Martin Schroeter, said, “We feel very good about the overall strategy. We feel great about how we’re exiting 2014. When we exit 2015, we will have a higher-margin business than we did in 2014.”

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) shares were skyrocketing up over 17% after the company reported a faster-than-expected rollout. The video streaming giant reported they would complete their 200 country expansion within the next 24-months. Edward Williams, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said, “In our view, this aggressive but possible, with rapid proliferation of connected devices. Perhaps more importantly, this signals the timing of when the heavy investment phase could end.” There was a total of 13 analysts’ that increased their price targets on Netflix stock.

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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