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Pre-Markets Edge Lower With Q4 Earnings Underway

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Pre-market futures are sinking into the red this morning, as it appears we’ve finally hit a snag in earnings season in the manner of Microsoft’s ((MSFT - Free Report) fiscal Q2 results, which went from +4% after the release to -3% this morning. Investors have had some time to digest the conference call, and have become near-term negative on the stock.

What we saw in the actual Microsoft report was a notable deceleration in its Azure cloud business. In the conference call, it became understood that this overall slowing has actually picked up pace between December and January. Enterprise software looks to have reached a near-term peak; this is also evident in the large numbers of layoffs coming from software companies of late, Microsoft included.

We also saw a -3600% negative earnings surprise from Boeing ((BA - Free Report) in its Q4 report this morning: the world’s biggest aircraft builder was expected to turn a profit of 5 cents per share in the quarter, but instead produced a -$1.75 per share loss. That said, revenues beat expectations in the quarter by +2.85% to $19.98 billion — and notably ahead of the year-ago’s $14.79 billion. Boeing also reaffirmed its free and operating cash flow for the full year.

Abbott Labs ((ABT - Free Report) put up prominent beats ahead of today’s opening bell, with earnings of $1.03 per share outpacing the 90 cents in the Zacks consensus on revenues of $10.09 billion, for a positive surprise of +6.47%. Yet pre-market forces being what the are this morning, Abbott shares are still down roughly -1.25% — effectively cutting in half the pharma major’s gains thus far year to date.

Dow futures are -280 points at this hour, the Nasdaq is -200 and the S&P 500 -40 points. We do sometimes see turnarounds within the course of the trading day, although today there are no economic reports scheduled that might swing markets in the other direction. After today’s close, we’ll get new earnings results from IBM ((IBM - Free Report) , Las Vegas Sands ((LVS - Free Report) and, of course, Tesla ((TSLA - Free Report) .

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