Updated 1:18 p.m. ET, Friday, July 21.
Stocks came off of session lows by early afternoon Friday, July 21, though disappointing guidance from General Electric Co. (GE) and a slump in crude oil prices kept markets under pressure.
The S&P 500 fell 0.18%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.24%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%.
Dow component General Electric slumped 3.2% on Friday after CEO Jeffrey Immelt issued a weak outlook. In his final earnings conference call before stepping down as CEO, Immelt said GE's performance in its oil and gas businesses would be "lower than previously anticipated" as growth in the market improves at a slower pace. Immelt said the company would likely see full-year earnings toward the bottom of its previous range of $1.60 to $1.70 a share.
The industrials leader reported higher profit than Wall Street expected in its recent quarter. Cash from industrial operations climbed $3.1 billion from a gloomy start to the year. Profit of 28 cents a share in the three months through June topped the 25-cent average estimate from analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Total revenue of $29.6 billion, higher than estimates, still dropped 12% from a year earlier as locomotive sales slid amid falling railroad deliveries for U.S. shale drilling. Revenue from oil and gas equipment dropped 3% to $3.1 billion as oil prices at less than half a 2014 peak continued to curb demand from producers.
Crude oil prices were sharply lower even after weekly drilling activity data showed its first decline in three weeks. The number of active U.S. oil-drilling rigs fell by one to 764 in the past week, according to Baker Hughes. The total number of active rigs declined by two to 950.
Major oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) , Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) , Chevron Corp. (CVX) , Total SA (TOT) and BP PLC (BP) were lower. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) dropped 0.8%.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) slipped 0.5% even after the tech giant topped estimates on its top and bottom lines for its fiscal fourth quarter. Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 98 cents a share, which included a gain of 23 cents a share from the write-down of Microsoft's money-losing Windows Phone business. Analysts predicted the company would earn 71 cents a share in the quarter. Revenue rose 13% from a year earlier to $24.7 billion, higher than Wall Street projections of $24.3 billion.
The company's Intelligent Cloud unit, which contains its Azure cloud platform and Windows Server product, saw sales jump 11% to $7.4 billion, beating consensus estimates of $7.3 billion. Microsoft doesn't break out results for its Azure cloud platform but noted that revenue at Azure increased 97% year over year in the quarter.
Other tech companies in the red included Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) , Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) , Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Intel Corp. (INTC) . The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) fell 0.3%.
Visa Inc. (V) reported a quarterly beat on its top- and bottom-lines. The credit card company earned 86 cents a share, a nickel higher than expected. Revenue surged 25.6% to $4.56 billion, exceeding estimates by $200 million. Visa said it processed $1.86 trillion on its network in the quarter, up 38% from a year earlier. In the U.S., the company's largest market, Visa said payments processed rose 12%.
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL) declined after a mixed quarter. Adjusted earnings of 72 cents a share met consensus, while revenue of $3.83 billion fell short of an expected $3.9 billion. CEO Ian Cook said "uncertainty in global markets and slowing category growth worldwide remain challenging." The multinational anticipates full-year net sales to rise in the low-single digits.
Capital One Financial (COF) reported better-than-expected earnings and improved revenue over its second quarter. Earnings of $1.96 a share came in 6 cents better than estimated. Sales increased 7.2% to $6.7 billion, $30 million higher than consensus.
Honeywell International Inc. (HON) moved slightly lower on Friday even after reporting earnings and sales growth. Profit increased to $1.80 a share from $1.70, while sales rose nearly 1% to $10.08 billion. Analysts anticipated $1.78 a share on $9.88 billion in sales. CEO Darius Adamczyk said the company worked toward future growth through "new product introductions, additions to the sales organization, and more than $115 million of restructuring funding."
Honeywell also increased full-year revenue targets to $39.3 billion to $40 billion and earnings guidance to $7 to $7.10. Both wrapped around consensus of $39.4 billion in sales and $7.08 a share in profit.
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) increased 0.2% after topping earnings and sales estimates and announcing plans to buy a majority state in Russia's Eurasia Drilling. The oil company earned 35 cents a share over its recent quarter, 5 cents above expectations. Revenue increased 4.2% to $7.46 billion and beat consensus by $220 million. Schlumberger anticipates strong growth in North America in the second half of the year.
eBay Inc. (EBAY) fell 2% after a quarterly performance that met estimates, but did not beat them. Adjusted earnings rose to 45 cents from 43 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 4.5% to $2.33 billion, matching consensus. The online auction site anticipates adjusted third-quarter earnings of 46 cents to 48 cents a share, meeting estimates on the high-end.
Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) rose more than 11% on Friday after expanding a partnership with Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) . Plug Power will install and maintain its GenKey hydrogen fuel cells to up to 30 additional Walmart sites in North America over the next three years. The arrangement also allows Plug Power to access project financing at a lower cost of capital.
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When: Tuesday, July 25, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.