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Dow Draws Back from Highs, Nasdaq Sits at New Record

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Monday, May 20th, 2024

Record-high closes on the Dow take a break today. After opening the first session of the trading week higher, the blue-chip index slipped into the red around lunchtime and was not able to recover, -0.49%, or -196 points — back below the 40,003 close on Friday. The S&P 500 came closer to a new record high close — +0.09% to 5308 — while the Nasdaq’s +108 points for the session, +0.65%, did bring the tech-heavy index to a fresh closing high: 16,794. The small-cap Russell 2000 was up +0.32% today.

The Dow was led today by +1.2% growth in Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) upon its unveiling of AI unit CoPilot+. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) was a drag on the blue chips today, -4.5%, on the assertion from CEO Jamie Dimon that his eminent retirement is “closer than ever” (aren’t all of ours?). Dimon has spent 18 years at the helm of the banking giant, which came after the merge between JPM and Bank One in late 2004. Since then, JPM has expanded more than +320% in share price.

After the close, Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Free Report) is out with earnings results. Fiscal Q4 earnings of $1.32 per share outpaced expectations by 7 cents (and above the $1.10 per share reported in the year-ago quarter) on revenues of $1.98 billion, a hair above the $1.97 billion in the Zacks consensus. Next-quarter guidance is slightly above where previous expectations had been, but shares are still trading down -9% in the after-market. Palo Alto has given back most of its +12% gains year to date, but is still up almost +60% from a year ago.

Zoom Media (ZM - Free Report) also has reported earnings this afternoon. Q1 earnings of $1.35 per share surpassed the $1.19 anticipated, on $1.14 billion in quarterly sales, which notched slightly ahead of the $1.13 billion estimate. Full-year guidance remains in-line with consensus forecasts, but current-quarter guides are a bit light. Shares are down -2% on this development. Neither Zoom nor Palo Alto Networks have any negative earnings surprises in their relatively brief time as publicly traded equities.

Tomorrow, Q1 earnings season continues to fill in the gaps remaining. In the morning, we’ll hear from Macy’s (M - Free Report) , Lowe’s (LOW - Free Report) and AutoZone (AZO - Free Report) ahead of the open, while top-tier homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL - Free Report) and Urban Outfitters (URBN - Free Report) . Retail companies are generally among the last sector to report in an earnings season, as they tend to push back their holiday shopping season results and close in late January, April, July and October instead of the more typical December, March, June and September.

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