Nasdaq 100 Forecast: Mixed Reaction to Earnings as Covid Muddles Outlook
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Nasdaq 100 Price Forecast:
- Tech giants report strong revenue, but price action is mixed after hours
- Alphabet leads price action after-hours, with Google stock up nearly 9%
- Volatility will likely stay elevated with the 2020 election just days away
The Nasdaq 100 index finished 1.87% higher Thursday, as risk appetite reemerged across markets following a brutal sell-off on Wednesday. The index may be poised for more volatility after a series of high-impact tech earnings from Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon showed strong revenues, but failed to support strong guidance across the board.
Overall, the tech giants posted impressive figures, especially considering the fundamental backdrop from the Covid pandemic this year. All four of the technology juggernauts beat estimates on earnings and revenues. However, the after-hour reaction appears mixed, with Apple and Amazon both seeing a negative reaction; Facebook remains nearly unchanged, while Alphabet stock is leading the pack, climbing nearly 9% higher.
Apple reported strong growth figures for Q4 with record-breaking revenue of $64.7 billion. Earnings came in at $0.73 per diluted share vs estimates of $0.70. Apple noted a strong reception to the new 5G phone lineup. And a result from the pandemic, home offices and remote learning were credited as helping boost growth. Still, Apple is trading nearly 4% lower after-hours. The company is still holding guidance during the pandemic, but the reaction is likely due to weaker than expected iPhone sales, which came in at $26.44 billion versus $33.36 billion from the same period last year.
Amazon reported Q3 earnings of $12.37 per share on a diluted basis, beating estimates. Revenue was also strong with net sales of $96.1 billion, also beating estimate of $92.71 billion. Amazon stock, however, is trading nearly 1% lower after-hours. The negative market reaction is likely a product of disappointing fourth quarter guidance. Amazon expects its operating income for Q4 to range from $1.0 billion to $4.5 billion, which is under some street estimates.
Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, reported strong figures for Q3 as its revenue rose to a healthy $38.01 billion, beating expectations of $35.35 billion, on an Ex-tac basis. Earnings per share were reported at $16.40 on a diluted basis. Alphabet’s Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, noted that growth was led by increased advertiser revenue across its search and YouTube platforms. Price action is nearly 9% higher following the upbeat report.
Facebook reported diluted earnings per share of $2.71 on $21.47 billion revenue. Active daily users, a key metric for investors, were 1.82 billion for September, a 12% YoY increase. While Facebook reported strong growth, the company expects significant uncertainty for next year. One key concern is the regulatory environment, likely a result of increased attention from Congress, as social media moves more into the spotlight due to its influence on the current political landscape.
Today’s earnings reports and their after-hour’s reactions will likely give way to the upcoming election and the growing threat of a second wave of lockdowns from the sharp rise in Covid infections in the United States and Europe. Still, as investors digest the earnings figures overnight, investor expectations for the coming quarters may shift and near-term price action with it.
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