A triple set of earnings from the world's biggest tech companies looked to dominate trading on Wall Street Friday as Action Alerts Plus holding Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Action Alerts Plus holding Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) combined for more than $28 billion in pretax profits over the three months ended in December.
Adding in recent figures from Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook Inc. (FB) and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) , the so-called FAANG complex of tech stocks has generated just under $200 billion in quarterly sales, a figure that tops the annual economic output of New Zealand. Collectively, the large-cap stocks have lifted the PowerShares ETF (QQQ) , one of the market's most popular tech benchmarks, 7.83% higher so far this year, topping the 6.99% advance for the Nasdaq Composite Index and the 5.55% gain for the broader S&P 500.
"Two out of three ain't bad," said TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, as he assessed Thursday's triple set of tech earnings. "FAANG acquitted itself incredibly well this quarter and we have the halo effect that I bet lasts all of three months ... until the next."
Amazon shares rose 4.7% early Friday after the online retailer posted a record fourth quarter profit of $1.86 billion thanks in part to last year's corporate tax overhaul and a massive surge in subscriptions to is Prime services.
Apple shares fell 2.4% as investors dug into the group's fiscal first-quarter earnings for clues as to depth and pace of sales for its flagship iPhone X.
Apple unveiled record revenue for the three months ended in December of $88.3 billion and profits of $3.89 a share, both of which topped analysts forecasts, but disappointed investors by selling fewer than expected iPhones over the period (77.3 million) and forecasting a less-than-anticipated sales for its current fiscal quarter of between $60 billion and $62 billion.
However, it also told investors that it would work toward reducing its $285 billion cash balance, with the aim of returning around half of it to shareholders
Alphabet shares were notably in the red, down 5.5%, after the Google parent missed analysts' forecasts in its fourth quarter earnings as it continued to pump cash into consumer and cloud computing services.
But once again, in what's become a discouraging pattern for a very good growth company, Alphabet just can't seem to figure out or guide Wall Street toward the cost side of the equation and while it is not like they don't care, it is like they don't care enough.
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