Here Are Three Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average  ended near even Friday. 
  • General Electric Co. (GE)  declined 4.4% as weakness in the company's power unit weighed on second-quarter profit.
  • Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  rose 1.7% after the software giant posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings as its cloud business surged.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mixed on Friday, July 20, as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  trimmed earlier gains that had lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Earlier in the session President Trump said he was ready to increase the amount of China-made goods facing tariffs to as much as $500 billion in order to address what he has called an unfair trade deficit with the world's second-largest economy.

In an interview with CNBC, Trump insisted he wasn't concerned about the political implications of his decision to take on China's trade surplus, which hit a record $133.8 billion over the first six months of the year, and said the stock market could be significantly higher if he were to abandon the various trade disputes he's ignited with Beijing, Brussels and London.

"This is the time," he said, to go after the trade imbalances between Washington and its allies and competitors. "You know the expression, 'we're playing with the bank's money?' This is the time."

In earlier remarks, published Thursday, July 19, Trump said he "wasn't thrilled" with the Federal Reserve's signaling of future rate hikes, and the dollar strength it inevitably creates, when China's yuan is "dropping like a rock" and the European single currency is declining. "It puts us at a disadvantage," he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average   fell 7 points, or 0.03%, to 25,058, the S&P 500  fell 0.09% and the Nasdaq  lost 0.07%.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  rose 1.7% on Friday after the software giant posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on the surging strength of its cloud computing business.

Microsoft reported adjusted earnings of $1.13 a share in the quarter, topping forecasts of $1.07. Revenue in the period rose 17.5% to $30.09 billion and also beat analysts' estimates.

Driving the earnings beat and the revenue jump in the fourth quarter was a 93% increase in sales for Microsoft's flagship Azure clouding computing business, and solid growth for its productivity and business processes unit, which includes its Office 365 suite, where sales rose 13.1% to $9.67 billion.

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

"We continue to see Azure as a driving source of growth as we believe it represents the best option for those companies looking to implement a hybrid cloud environment as the Azure "stack" can be installed on internal servers, allowing for seamless transition between both environments," said Cramer and the AAP team.

General Electric Co. (GE)  shares fell 4.4% as weakness in the company's power unit weighed on profit.

GE reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 19 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates by 1 cent, as revenue of $30.1 billion beat forecasts of $29.4 billion, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet. Net earnings were 7 cents a share, a decline of 30% from a year earlier.

Watch what GE's Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller told TheStreet below

Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (SWK) reported earnings in the second quarter of $2.57 a share, well above estimates of $2.02. The stock gained 3.1%.

Honeywell International Inc. (HON) posted second-quarter profit of $2.12 a share vs. estimates of $2.01. Shares rose 3.8%.

Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) posted second-quarter adjusted profit of 43 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates by 1 cent. Revenue of $8.3 billion came in below estimates of $8.36 billion. The stock fell 1%.

Honeywell and Schlumberger 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.

Skechers USA Inc. ( SKX)  fell 21% on Friday after second-quarter earnings came in below forecasts and and third-quarter guidance missed expectations.

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