Global stocks struggled for direction on Friday, as markets were left none the wiser about the status corporate performance after weaker-than-expected quarterly results from e-commerce titan, Amazon.com (AMZN), kept a lid on positive sentiment.
While global stocks are on course for their third consecutive weekly increase, optimism is being put to the test today, after Amazon’s first profit drop in more than two years sent AMZN shares tumbling.
Meanwhile, uncertainties also remain over the status of US-China trade negotiations, after China fired back at US Vice President, Mike Pence’s, criticism on human rights in Hong Kong, calling his speech “lies” and chiding him for ignoring American racism and wealth disparity.
These developments come after Thursday’s session, where the S&P 500 ended on a slightly positive note on the back of positive earnings reports from Microsoft (MSFT: +1.97%) and Tesla (TSLA: +17.67%).
The S&P 500 finished +0.16% higher; positioning itself less than 1.0% from a record high close, while the Nasdaq leapt +0.97% higher.
Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Friday includes; Consumer Expectations and Sentiment data for October at 10am EST.
In earnings; Verizon (VZ), Phillips 66 (PSX) and VF Corp. (VFC) are amongst the major companies scheduled to report today.
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Brexit: EU Diplomats Defer Decision on Extension Length. (Bloomberg)
European Union diplomats deferred a decision on the length of Brexit extension the bloc will offer the UK until after British politicians vote Monday on Boris Johnson’s proposal for an early general election to end the impasse in Parliament.
Today's Economical Announcements.
10:00AM - ★★☆ - Michigan Consumer Expect. (Oct) (Previous: 93.4)
10:00AM - ★★☆ - Michigan Consumer Senti. (Oct) (Previous: 93.2)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Amazon.com (AMZN): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of $4.23 per share, below the consensus estimate of $4.62. Revenue was above Wall Street expectations, however. The company reported its first year-over-year profit decline in more than two years, as it spent more on one-day shipping and other initiatives.
Intel (INTC): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 18 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.42 per share. The chip maker’s revenue was also above forecasts and Intel raised its full-year revenue outlook amid strong demand, and it added $20 billion to its share buyback program.
VF Corp. (VFC): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly profit of $1.26 per share, falling 5 cents a share short of estimates. Revenue was also less than analysts had expected, amid weaker demand for brands like North Face and Vans. The company reaffirmed its full-year forecast, however, and announced a 5 cent a share increase in its quarterly dividend to 48 cents per share.
Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs, which points to a healthy athletic market as well as better service and a more differentiated experience at Dick’s stores.
Gilead Sciences (GILD): [EARNINGS] Came in a penny a share above estimates, with a quarterly profit of $1.75 per share. The drugmaker’s revenue was essentially in line with forecasts. Gilead reported lower-than-expected sales of its cancer treatment Yescarta.
Avis Budget (CAR): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank, which points to softer pricing for the car rental company as well as the pending retirement of CEO Larry De Shon.
Alaska Air (ALK): [EARNINGS] Beat analyst forecasts by 11 cents a share, with a quarterly profit of $2.63 per share. The airline’s revenue was essentially in line with estimates. Alaska Air’s key metric of revenue per available seat mile came in slightly above forecasts.
Verizon (VZ): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly profit of $1.25 per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts, helped by a greater-than-expected increase in postpaid subscribers.
AT&T (T): [NEWS] Chief Operating Office John Stankey told Reuters that the company’s HBO Max service aims to reach about 80 million global subscribers by 2025, with about 50 million in the U.S. He also said the service will be available for free to 10 million AT&T customers who are also HBO subscribers when it launches next spring.
Facebook (FB): [NEWS] Is launching a news service today to a limited test audience of 200,000 users. The Wall Street Journal reports that ABC, NBC, Fox, Conde Nast, and the Washington Post are among the outlets that have agreed to participate.
Visa (V): [EARNINGS] Reported a third-quarter profit of $1.47 per share, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat Wall Street forecasts as well, boosted by more spending on debit and credit cards. The company also announced a 20% dividend increase.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Boeing’s design and certification of the MCAS flight control system was criticized heavily in a report by Indonesian regulators on the crash of a Lion Air flight last year that killed 189 people. The report also blames Lion Air’s maintenance work and its pilots. Boeing responded to the report, saying it was redesigning the Angle of Attack sensors which inform the anti-stall system so that they would now turn the system on, only if both sensors agree.
Citigroup (C): [NEWS] Named Latin American chief Jane Fraser as president and head of its consumer bank, putting her in line to eventually succeed Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat.
Booking Holdings (BKNG): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Raymond James. The firm said the Street appears overly optimistic about revenue growth and profit margins for the operator of Priceline, Kayak, and other travel booking sites.
Uber Technologies (UBER): [RATING] Rated “buy” in new coverage at Guggenheim. The firm said the ride-hailing service operator has underappreciated pricing leverage, among other factors.
GAINERS: ALGN, LRCX, RS, TAL, ORLY, AMAT
DECLINERS: TWTR, CLGX, VCYT
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