Here Are Three Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average   fell on Thursday, breaking a 5-day winning streak. The Russell 2000 index bucked the trend, ending higher
  • International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)  rose 3.3% after the tech giant's second-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates.
  • Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)  dropped its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s (FOXA) media assets.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks fell on Thursday, July 19, as trade war concerns held down shares and as earnings season kicked into high gear.

U.S. companies have begun questioning the impact of Donald Trump's trade policies, according to the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" survey of regional business sentiment for June. The Fed said manufacturers in all 12 of the districts it polled "expressed concern about tariffs and in many districts reported higher prices and supply disruptions that they attributed to the new trade policies."

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell echoed those concerns during his second day of testimony to congressional lawmakers in Washington, telling the House Financial Services Committee that while "we don't see it in the aggregate numbers yet because it is a $20 trillion dollar economy and these things take time to show up ... we hear many many stories of companies that are concerned and are now beginning to make investment decisions, or not make them, because of this."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 135 points, or 0.53%, to 25,065, the S&P 500  declined 0.4% and the Nasdaq  lost 0.37%.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) rose 3.3% after second-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.08 a share beat estimates and revenue rose to $20 billion from $19.3 billion a year earlier.

Driving the tech giant's second-quarter beat was its systems segment, which covers sales of hardware and related operating systems. Revenue rose 25% to $2.18 billion, easily beating estimates of $1.85 billion.

But while the systems segment outperformed, IBM's cognitive solutions segment, which covers much of the company's software operations and is by far its most profitable segment, posted revenue of $4.58 billion, which was up just fractionally from a year earlier and below consensus of $4.76 billion.

Comcast Corp.  (CMCSA) announced Thursday it will no longer pursue a bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s  (FOXA) media assets, giving a win to Walt Disney Co.  (DIS) , which agreed to purchase numerous Fox movie and television assets for $71 billion. Comcast rose 2.5%. Twenty-First Century Fox fell 0.14%. Disney rose 1.3%.

Shares of eBay Inc. (EBAY) fell 10% after the online marketplace issued lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings guidance. 

American Express Co. (AXP)  fell 2.7% after second-quarter revenue of $10 billion came in below forecasts.

Danaher Corp.'s (DHR) second-quarter profit of $1.15 a share beat Wall Street's expectations by 6 cents. The company also raised its earnings outlook for the fiscal year and said it would spin off its dental business into a separate, publicly listed company. The stock rose 4.7%.

Travelers Cos. (TRV)  posted second-quarter earnings that missed expectations. Shares fell 3.8%.

Nucor Corp. (NUE)  fell 1.4% after it posted second-quarter profit of $2.13 a share, 4 cents better than estimates. Revenue of $6.46 billion topped forecasts of $6.4 billion. The company said it expects third-quarter earnings to "further improve" from the second quarter.

Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT)   posted better-than-expected earnings after the close.

Microsoft, Nucor, Danaher and Comcast 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.

John Schnatter, Papa John's International Inc.'s ( PZZA) founder and recently ousted chairman, held talks to merge the pizza company with Wendy's Co. ( WEN) , The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Papa John's shares fell 3%. 

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