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Facebook Earnings Could Help Spur Another Strong Session for the S&P 500

Facebook Earnings Could Help Spur Another Strong Session for the S&P 500

Peter Hanks, Strategist

Talking Points:

  • Facebook has fallen roughly 20% in the year to date and is now down $75 from its peak in July
  • The company missed on revenue but delivered a strong showing on an earnings per share basis
  • Immediately following the report, shares of Facebook saw mixed trading but looked to close timidly higher in after-hours

Equity markets closed firmly in the green Tuesday, marking only the fifth such occurrence for October in 2018. Tomorrow may be poised for a continuation of Tuesday’s strength following encouraging earnings from Facebook. The social media giant is one of the key NASDAQ members and a FANG member. As a darling of the tech world, Facebook is often looked to as a contributor for tech sentiment and broader equity sentiment to a degree.

FANG Price Chart Daily, Year-to-Date (Chart 1)

FANG index after facebook earnings

While it is unlikely Facebook alone could drive markets higher tomorrow, the report and subsequent market response are weighed with other recent earnings. Amazon and Alphabet reported earnings last week and disappointed investors. Coupled with Facebook, the mixed performances have thus far proved bearish for FANG and the NASDAQ. The slight bump experienced by Facebook could look to nullify some of the negative sentiment.

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Leading up to the report, shares of Facebook were performing admirably and closed roughly 4% higher. The climb was miniscule compared to the descent Facebook has witnessed since July. After second quarter earnings were reported, shares plummeted 20% on advertising revenue growth concerns. Since then, weakness has continued along with the broader indices.

Facebook Price Chart Daily, Year-to-Date (Chart 2)

Facebook year to date

Third quarter earnings for the social media giant read in roughly on target to analyst expectations. Revenue missed slightly, $13.73 billion versus the expected $13.80 billion. Despite the slight miss, earnings per share delivered a hearty beat. Third quarter EPS read $1.76, notably higher than the expected $1.46.

Facebook Price Chart After-Hours, October 30th (Chart 3)

Facebook price chart

After briefly dipping 5%, Facebook recovered in after hours and traded roughly 2% higher as investors awaited the earnings call. Tech and equity speculators will now look to Apple’s third quarter report on Thursday to gauge FANG sentiment moving forward. A stellar performance from the largest publicly traded company in the US could make meaningful inroads into staging a broader equity rebound or some buoyancy at a minimum.

--Written by Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst for DailyFX.com

Contact and follow Peter on Twitter @PeterHanksFX

Read more: S&P 500, Dow Rout Allows Bold Investors to Pick up Cheap Shares

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