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Profit from the Pros By Kevin Matras Executive Vice President
Stocks End Mixed, But Poised For Strong Day Today After Big Tech Earnings Beats
Stocks closed mixed yesterday, but the Nasdaq finished in the green.
The markets were pressured early on after Q2 GDP showed a contraction of -32.9%. Everybody knew it was going to be bad, so it was hardly a shock. If anything, the surprise was that it beat expectations for a -35% drop. And that helped stocks to climb off the lows all day long.
Let's also not forget that the Q2 GDP number is a backward-looking number. And it reflects a snapshot in time that we have rapidly moved away from. And even though there have been some setbacks with the reopening, the worst of the pandemic is clearly behind us.
In fact, so much so, that top analysts are calling for unprecedented growth for the remainder of the year.
The market should also see a solid day today after four of the biggest tech companies reported earnings after the close yesterday and blew past expectations. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google all posted stellar quarters, beating on both their top and bottom lines, with all of them trading higher in after-hours trade.
Amazon's quarter was truly spectacular with a 605% positive EPS surprise on a 9.01% positive sales surprise. They were up about 5% in after-hours trade.
Facebook saw a 29.50% positive EPS surprise on a 7.47% positive sales surprise. They were up about 7% in after-hours trade.
Google reported a 23.39% positive EPS surprise on a 2.49% positive sales surprise. Although, it should be noted that this was their first y/y quarterly decline in revenue in the company's history. Nonetheless, they were up about 1% in after-hours.
And Apple reported a 26.47% positive EPS surprise on a 14.24% positive sales surprise. And they also announced a 4-1 stock split. They were up about 6% in after-hours.
And while we're on the topic of beats, Ford also reported better than expected earnings. Granted, they posted a loss, but it was narrower than expected. They were up about 1% in after-hours trade.
Earnings season continues to roll on. We'll get another 100 companies reporting today. And another 1,801 companies next week. And that's great news, as stocks typically go up during earnings season. And that's what we're seeing so far with this earning season as well.
The market will also be looking for news on the status of the fourth coronavirus relief/stimulus bill. As is typical in Washington, talks have stalled. But there is hope that something will get done soon, even if it's a scaled down version, as many people at the end of the month (that's today), will lose their benefits that the first three packages provided.
In the meantime, stocks look set to continue their winning ways.
And with all of the above, not to mention the promise of a COVID vaccine possibly coming by year's end (Johnson & Johnson just joined Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, and AstraZeneca in conducting advanced trials), it looks like there's a lot more upside to go.
So make sure you're taking full advantage of it.
Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research
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