Google, Microsoft, Chipotle results cheer the Street
But IBM shares fall after hours, after earnings miss estimates. Still, stocks may open higher Friday after a Thursday swoon. The major indexes are off more than 2% since peaking last week.
If you're looking for good news to give the stock market a boost on Friday, maybe you got it from Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT). (Microsoft owns and publishes MoneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)
Shares of all three were higher after hours on Thursday. Chipotle shares, in fact, were up more than 5% to $346.16 after easily beating Street estimates.
But IBM's (IBM) results were a disappointment. Revenue was down 5.1% from a year ago, and earnings of $3 a share missed Street estimates by 5 cents. Shares were off 3.6% to $199.77.
The reports came after the stock market stumbled to a second loss in a row and its third loss in four days. In addition, Apple (AAPL) closed under $400 for the first time since December 2011. Nonetheless, futures trading early Friday suggested U.S. markets would open with a potentially strong rally.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed down 81 points to 14,537. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was off 10 points to 1,542. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 38 points to 3,166, while the Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) dropped 40 points to 2,742. Google reported a 15% gain in earnings per share to $11.58, beating the Street estimate of $10.69. Revenue totaled $13.96 billion before payments to advertising partners, up 31% from a year ago - but off slightly from the Street estimate of $14.04 billion.
IBM revenue was $23.41 billion, off $1.28 billion from Street estimates and down 5.1% from a year ago. Earnings were up 7.9% from a year ago, and the company continued to guide to earnings of at least $16.70.
Microsoft shares were 2.3% higher to $29.52., after earnings of 72 cents a share exceeded the Street estimate of 68 cents. Revenue jumped 17.7% from a year ago. But revenue was flat when pre-sales of its Window 8 operating system is taken out.
Chipotle rallied up $13.59, or 4.1%, to $341.95 after hours . Its first-quarter profit blew past Wall Street’s estimate, and it backed its 2013 forecast for sales at its existing restaurants. Analysts had expected earnings of $2.14. The company reported $2.45. Revenue of $726 million beat Street estimates of $724.8 million.
It appears that the earnings were good enough -- with IBM the outstanding disappointment -- to set Friday's market up for a rally. Futures trading suggested the Dow could open up nearly 80 points,with the S&P 500 up 9 points and the Nasdaq-100 Index up 15 points.
A gain would relieve many investors. With Thursday's close, the major averages are looking at their worst weekly losses for the year, and the selling has wiped out the market's gains for April.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are off 2.2%, 3.3% and 4.1%, respectively, since hitting a peak on April 11. The market is stumbling because fundamentals are deteriorating, said Alec Young, global equity strategist with S&P Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
U.S. economic data has shown the economy is starting to fade, Young said on Thursday. China's economic growth is slowing and Europe is struggling with recession, he added. While the Federal Reserve is pumping money into the economy, Baby Boomers are a big force in the stock market. They're buying stocks -- but stocks that pay high dividends, like healthcare and utility stocks.
If that wasn't enough, technical pressures are hurting stocks, Young said. Materials and energy stocks have slid as commodity prices dropped. Technology shares were weak as well, with Apple a big factor in the softness.
Apple fell $11.18 to $391.62, its first close under $400 since Dec. 22, 2011. The stock is off more than 44% from its intra-day peak of $705.07, reached on Sept. 21, 2012. It's also off 26% this year alone.
The decline is a big deal for the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100. As of Wednesday, Apple had represented 8% of the Nasdaq's total market capitalization and 15% of the market capitalization of the Nasdaq-100 Index.
Seven of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, led by Verizon Communications (VZ) and American Express (AXP). UnitedHealth Group (UNH) was the laggard. Health-insurance stocks were generally weaker after United Health offered disappointing guidance for the year.
Only 171 S&P 500 stocks were higher, led by coal producer Peabody Energy (BTU); 16 Nasdaq-100 shares were higher, led by gold-producer Randgold Resources (GOLD).
Crude oil (-CL) in New York and Brent crude in London were higher. So was gold (-GC).
More on Top Stocks
No worries. If MSN says it's so, take it to the bank. At least the food bank, maybe?
In the strange new world were in, reality doesn't matter anymore.
Just create your own.
Just another typical MSN bullsh*t article from "Cheerleader Charley". Every headline he writes has to put a positive spin on negative news. When the market is down 100 points he describes it as a "slip" or says "slightly down" but if it is up even 10 points he describes the market as "surging", "soaring" etc.
Most intelligent people know that the market has been artificially pumped up by our gov to give the appearance all is well with our economy when in reality it is not regardless of what the politicians and the crooks of Wall St want you to believe. It would be a breath of fresh air if MSN just told the truth and didn't feel the need to sugar coat every article.
Google- PLEASE buy into my Big Brother scam.
Microsoft- PLEASE buy into my EULA software that always has bugs in it.
Chipolte- you already have an upset stomach from Google and Microsoft, here eat some greasy food.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Investors are anxious to see if hiring can maintain its strong pace in the second half of the year.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.