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Apple, AMD, Microsoft, Boeing and the Fed - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures fluctuate following earnings from U.S. tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft; the Federal Reserve is expected to discuss when to begin pulling back U.S. stimulus; Facebook, Shopify and Bristol Myers report earnings.

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, July 28:

1. -- Stock Futures Fluctuate After Earnings From U.S. Tech Giants

Stock futures fluctuated Wednesday following earnings from Apple  (AAPL) , which declined slightly after warning of slowing sales growth, and Boeing  (BA) , which topped analysts' forecasts.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 33 points, S&P 500 futures rose 3 points and Nasdaq futures were up 44 points.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose Wednesday to 1.253% as investors awaited a policy decision from the Federal Reserve. Central bank officials are expected to discuss when they might begin pulling back on stimulus.

“We’re not expecting fireworks at this Fed meeting,” said LPL Financial fixed income strategist Lawrence Gillum. “But we are expecting the committee to go further down the road in discussing the when and how to start removing the emergency level monetary accommodation it has been providing markets.”

The policy statement from the Federal Reserve is expected at 2 p.m. ET followed by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference at 2:30 p.m.

Cramer's Mad Money Recap: GE, Apple, Starbucks, AMD

Boeing  (BA)  reported second-quarter core earnings of 40 cents a share, beating estimates that called for a loss of 83 cents.

Earnings season continues to roll on Wednesday with reports from Facebook  (FB) , PayPal  (PYPL) , Pfizer  (PFE) , Shopify  (SHOP) , Ford  (F) , McDonald's  (MCD) , Qualcomm  (QCOM)  and Bristol Myers  (BMY.)

Pfizer Blasts Earnings Forecast, Sees $33.5 Billion in COVID Vaccine Sales

Facebook, PayPal, Ford, Bristol Myers and Boeing are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

Stocks finished lower Tuesday with the S&P 500 ending a five-day streak of gains. Sentiment was dented by a regulatory crackdown in China that sent technology shares reeling and jitters about the rising delta variant of COVID-19.

2. -- Apple Posts Earnings Beat but Warns of Slowing Growth

Apple  (AAPL)  posted much stronger-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings amid surging iPhone sales and a big comeback in China but the stock dipped after the tech giant warned that growth could be slowing.

In a conference call following its earnings report, Apple said supply constraints and chip shortages would affect the iPhone and iPad in the fiscal fourth quarter, while services growth also would suffer a slowdown.

“We expect very strong double-digit year-over-year revenue growth during the September quarter,” Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said, without offering specifics. “We expect revenue growth to be lower than our June quarter year-over-year growth of 36%.” 

Apple reported third-quarter revenue of $81.4 billion, well above analysts' estimates.

Maestri also said Apple expects services growth to "return to a more typical level.” The company said revenue in its services division rose 33% to $17.5 billion in the fiscal third quarter.

"Bottom line, similar to what we said last quarter, this was about as clean a print as anyone could have asked for, especially given the stock's strength into earnings season," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Apple in its portfolio. "As a result, we have even more conviction in reiterating our 'own, don't trade' stance on the stock."

Apple shares fell 1.61% to $144.40 in premarket trading Wednesday.

3. -- Microsoft's Earnings and Sales Rise

Microsoft's  (MSFT)  fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue topped analysts' forecasts but investor concerns about slowing growth in the company's Azure division limited gains in premarket trading.

Microsoft shares rose 0.5% to $287.97 in premarket trading.

Microsoft reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.17 a share on revenue of $46.2 billion. Analysts had predicted profit of $1.92 a share on sales of $44.2 billion.

As for Azure, the company's cloud-computing business, sales increased 51% but the gain was partially fueled by currency fluctuations; the number drops to
45% without that boost, representing a slowdown from the prior
period, according to Bloomberg.

"While the stock's valuation may be up there from a historical perspective at ~34.5x forward earnings (though we expect earnings estimates to go up following tonight's release), we believe the higher multiple to be more than well-deserved given the company's incredible transformation under (CEO Satya) Nadella, which has made Microsoft absolutely critical to the productivity of nearly every industry on the planet," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Microsoft in its portfolio.

4. -- Advanced Micro Devices Boosts Revenue Forecast

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices  (AMD)  were rising more than 1% in premarket trading Wednesday after the chipmaker boosted its full-year revenue forecast following a strong second quarter.

AMD said it expects annual revenue to rise by 60%, up from previous guidance of 50% growth. The company also said it expects third-quarter revenue of about $4.1 billion, plus or minus $100 million. Analysts have been calling for third-quarter revenue of $3.8 billion.

In the second quarter, AMD reported adjusted earnings of 63 cents a share as revenue surged 99% to $3.85 billion.

The revenue gains were driven by higher growth in both the computing and graphics segment and enterprise and embedded and semi-custom segment.

AMD is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

5. -- Alphabet's Ad Revenue Jumps 69%

Google parent Alphabet  (GOOGL)  reported second-quarter revenue that beat Wall Street estimates and the stock rose more than 4% in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Alphabet reported second-quarter earnings of $27.26 a share on revenue of $61.9 billion, a jump of 62% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $19.24 a share on revenue of $56.2 billion.

“In Q2, there was a rising tide of online activity in many parts of the world, and we’re proud that our services helped so many consumers and businesses," CEO Sundar Pichai said.

Sales from advertising totaled $50.44 billion in the quarter, a 69% increase from a year earlier. Revenue at YouTube's ad business was $7 billion, up 84%.

Alphabet is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells GOOGL? Learn more now.