Updated from 1:37 p.m. ET, Thursday, July 27.
The S&P 500 was down 0.35%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.9%.
The major stock indexes closed at records on Wednesday, July 26. The S&P 500 added 0.03% to 2,477, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.45% to 21,711, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.16% to 6,422. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq traded at records on Wednesday for their second day in a row.
Facebook Inc. was 3.5% higher on Thursday after the social media giant reported second-quarter earnings and sales that topped Wall Street expectations. Facebook earned $1.32 a share in the quarter, surpassing estimates of $1.12. Revenue was $9.32 billion, which exceeded Wall Street estimates of $9.2 billion.
Advertising revenue jumped 47% from a year earlier to $9.16 billion, easily beating projections of $9.02 billion. Mobile ad revenue made up 87% of Facebook's total ad revenue during the second quarter, up from 84% a year earlier. The company reported 1.32 billion daily active users during the quarter and said it had just more than 2 billion monthly active users for the first time ever, which was more than analysts expected.
"Overall, we view this as a great quarter for Facebook," said Cramer and the AAP team. "The company continues to over-deliver on the lofty expectations set by investors, even with the company continuing to spend to grow in scale."
James "Rev Shark" Deporre isn't as optimistic, though. Facebook's recent run is already stretching the Nasdaq, he wrote in his column for our premium site for investors, Real Money. Get his insights with a free trial subscription.
Large-cap tech stocks were largely in the red by mid-afternoon. Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report , Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report , Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) - Get Netflix Inc. Report were lower, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF Report fell 0.7%. Tech companies have been under pressure since June 9 when a sudden selloff pulled the sector from its lofty heights. Tech, primarily the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report , Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet), has been a major contributor the market gains in the year to date.
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report rose 7.6% after reporting a revenue beat in the second quarter on customer gains. Adjusted earnings of 96 cents a share were in-line with estimates, while revenue of $30.5 billion exceeded estimates of $29.81 billion.
Verizon reported a net increase of 614,000 retail postpaid connections in the second quarter. Net phone additions of 358,000 included 590,000 smartphones in the quarter, compared with 86,000 net phone additions, including 336,000 smartphones, in the second quarter of 2016. Analysts polled by FactSet expected Verizon to add 86,100 wireless subscribers in the quarter, after losing more than 300,000 in the first quarter.
Other telecom shares on the rise besides Verizon included AT&T Inc. (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report , Frontier Communications (FTR) - Get Frontier Communications Corp. Report , Telefonica S.A. (TEF) - Get Telefonica SA Report , Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report and BT Group PLC (BT) . The ProShares Ultra Telecommunications ETF (LTL) - Get ProShares Ultra Telecommunications Report increased 1.8%.
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Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report turned out a strong quarterly performance tied to solid box office, TV and theme park results. The cable company declared revenue of $21.16 billion for the second quarter, up 9.8% on the same period one year ago and modestly ahead of the Factset consensus for sales of $20.8 billion. The fastest growing division during the period was filmed entertainment, which saw revenue growth of 59.6% thanks to the box office hit Fate of the Furious, while NBCUniversal and theme parks revenues grew by 17.3% and 15.6% respectively.
Comcast declined 0.8%.
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Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA Sponsored ADR (Belgium) Report led the consumer sector higher. The alcohol company reported better-than-expected earnings on a successful integration of SABMiller, the company it bought for more than $100 billion last year. Adjusted core earnings increased 12% to $5.35 billion. Strong performances in Mexico, Australia and South Africa offset weakness in Brazil.
Anheuser-Busch surged more than 6%, pulling other breweries higher. Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) - Get Molson Coors Beverage Company Class B Report , Diageo PLC (DEO) - Get Diageo plc Report and Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) - Get Constellation Brands Inc. Report climbed. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) - Get Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Report increased 0.3%.
Twitter Inc. (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report was fell 13% on worrying signs of slowing user growth over its second quarter. Twitter reported 328 million month active users, a flat reading from the first quarter, though 5% higher than the same quarter a year earlier. The social network reported a net loss of $116.5 million, wider than $107 million a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of 8 cents a share topped estimates by 3 cents. Revenue of $573.9 million fell nearly 5%, though came in higher than $537.5 million consensus.
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PayPal Inc. (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc. Report moved higher on Thursday after a better-than-expected second quarter and solid full-year guidance. The online payments operator earned an adjusted 46 cents a share, a dime higher than a year earlier and above consensus of 43 cents. Sales of $3.14 billion exceeded estimates of $3.09 billion. Transactions increased 23%.
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company (The) Report edged nearly 1% higher after topping profit and sales estimates over its recent quarter. The packaged goods company earned 85 cents a share, 7 cents above consensus, while revenue of $16.1 billion beat estimates of $16.02 billion. For 2018, P&G expects to grow its organic sales by 2% to 3%.
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) - Get Southwest Airlines Company Report fell 4% after the company reported a 9% decrease in profit as operating expenses weighed on second quarter earnings. Earnings of $1.24 per share beat FactSet analysts' estimate of $1.20 but fell below last year's $1.28 earnings for the second quarter. Revenue increased 6.7% year-over-year to $5.7 billion, setting a quarterly record. Southwest said revenue growth was due primarily to passenger revenues of $5.2 billion.
Other earnings of note include Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) , Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) , F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) - Get F5 Inc. Report , Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences Inc. Report , Imax Corp. (IMAX) - Get Imax Corporation Report , United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service Inc. Report , Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Report , Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) , Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF) , Mastercard Inc. (MA) - Get Mastercard Incorporated Report , Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP) - Get Helmerich & Payne Inc. Report , Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) - Get Stellantis N.V. Report , Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. (DNKN) - Get Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Report , Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. undefined , Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) - Get Dow Inc. Report , ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report , Celgene Corp. (CELG) - Get Celgene Corporation Report , Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report , Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) - Get Albertsons Companies Inc. Class A Report , and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) - Get AstraZeneca PLC Report .
The second-quarter earnings season approaches the halfway mark with 48% of S&P 500 companies having reported on their recent quarterly performances. Of those, 73.6% have exceeded analysts' earnings estimates, while 72% have topped revenue consensus, according to Thomson Reuters data. Analysts anticipate a blended earnings growth estimate of 10.7%.
Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. rose in the past week, according to the latest reading from the Labor Department. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to 244,000. That was around 4,000 higher than anticipated. The less-volatile four-week claims average held at 244,000.
Durable goods orders in the U.S. grew at a steady clip in June, rising by 6.5%, largely tied to a large number of Boeing Co. (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report orders. Excluding transportation, orders for long-lasting goods increased just 0.2%. Core capital goods orders decreased by 0.1%.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday tiptoed the line between hawk and dove. Following its July meeting, the Fed said it would implement changes to its balance sheet "relatively soon" provided the economy expands as expected. Previous language in the Fed's statement had said those changes would come this year.
The Fed currently holds $4.5 trillion in Treasurys and mortgage-related bonds on its balance sheet. Unloading those would likely tighten monetary conditions in the same way an interest rate hike would. The Fed has previously emphasized that when it plans to do so it will be a gradual process.
"We do have some concern about that causing some volatility and it's such unprecedented territory I'm not sure if anybody honestly knows what it's going to do," Mike Piershale, president of Piershale Financial Group, said of the unwinding process.
The Fed left the federal funds rate at 1% to 1.25%, as widely expected. Another rate hike is not expected until at least December. Even then, chances of a year-end increase are only at 42.9%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
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