Major benchmarks ended mixed on Wednesday, as impressive earnings reported during the day kept investor fears at bay over the Coronavirus outbreak. Earnings from major corporates such as Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) , Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) and Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) pushed indexes up despite the rising death toll in China because of the fast-spreading new virus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 28,734.45 after gaining 0.04% and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite hit 9,275.16 after rising 0.1%. The broader S&P 500, however, went down to 3,273.40 after losing 0.1%.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 9.5% to close at 17.94 on Jan 29. Finally, advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio.
Better-Than-Expected Tech Earnings Lead the Way
Shares of Apple gained 2.1% on Wednesday after the company reported notably higher earnings and revenue for the quarter ended December 2019.The company reported first-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings of $4.99 per share which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.9%. The considerably higher earnings were partly fuelled by iPhone revenue, which was up 8% on new iPhone models.
The iPhonemaker’s revenues also rose 8.9% year over year to hit $91.82 billion, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $87.74 billion. In addition, Apple’s other products that the company said it couldn’t make enough of during the last quarter caught investors’ attention during the last few months. These products, which consist of the Apple Watch and AirPods, made as much as $10 billion in sales. (Read more)
Shares of Microsoft climbed 1.6% after it reported quarterly earnings of $1.51 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32. Major reasons behind the company’s impressive earnings were the growth in its Azure public cloud business and Office 365 productivity suite.
The company’s revenues of $36.91 billion for the quarter ended December 2019 also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. Azure’s growth for the quarter was reported at 62%. A major factor that pushed Azure last quarter was it pocketing the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, which is worth up to $10 billion over a decade. (Read more)
Shares of Facebook climbed 2.5%after the company reported fourth-quarter 2019 earnings of $2.56 per share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.6%. A major reason behind the company’s earnings growth was the expansion in its user base.
Facebook’s revenues of $21.08 billion also easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.9%. The company’s primarily source of revenue was its core app.Average revenue per person for the whole family of apps (Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp etc) were $7.38 per user, while that for the core Facebook app was $8.52 for the quarter ended December 2019. (Read more)
All the three stocks mentioned above carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Coronavirus Claims More Lives
The number of Coronavirus deaths rose to 132 on Wednesday in China, up from 106 on Tuesday. About 6000 confirmed cases of infections also came in, which induced further panic in the country. As of now, five cases of the illness have been confirmed in the United States.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Knight-Swift Q4 Earnings Top, Shares Up on 2020 View
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc.’s (KNX - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read more)
Shell Q4 Earnings Miss on Commodity Price Slump
Europe’s largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter earnings, which came in below the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read more)
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