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April 24, 2015 - US Stockmarket Update
Tech Earnings Propel Nasdaq, S&P 500 to New Records by Morningstar Investment Research
U.S. Market a rally in tech stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite further into record territory today and helped boost the S&P 500 to a new record too.
Durable goods orders rose a seasonally adjusted 4% in March from February levels, above the 0.6% rise expected by economists. The boost was driven by auto and aircraft demand. Excluding transportation, orders were down 0.2%. The closely watched orders for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft, were down 0.5%.
At market close the Dow was up 0.1%, the S&P 500 was 0.2% higher while the Nasdaq gained 0.7%.
Stocks on the Move
Shares of Amazon (AMZN) soared over 14% after the firm reported quarterly results and provided segment data on its AWS cloud computing business for the first time. AWS had trailing 12-month revenue of $5.1 billion (6% of total revenue) and segment operating margins of 16.9% which were better than anticipated, even after last year's price cuts. On the retail side, North America segment margins came in at 3.9%%--up 120 basis points year over year. Like previous quarters, much of the increase appears to be the result of Prime memberships and third-party units, which increased 32% and now constitute 44% of units sold
Google (GOOG) posted strong quarterly results. Total revenue grew 12% to $13.9 billion, but the currency impact made for a 5% headwind. Operating margins reflected continued heavy investment, particularly in engineering and product development personnel. Still, operating margins were 25.8%, only 90 basis points lower than 2014. Shares were up 3.3% on the day.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) advanced over 10% after the firm posted better-than-expected results. The firm said sales were up 6.5% on the back of including Nokia handset sales and the growth of the firmsí cloud businesses. Net income was down 12% to 61 cents a share from 68 cents a share in the year-ago quarter due to higher R&D spending.
Comcast (CMCSA) has officially dropped its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). We aren't surprised that the deal faced heavy regulatory criticism, as we've believed from the beginning that deal faced a long road with the public, lawmakers, and regulators likely to harbor strong views on increased media concentration.
Starbucks (SBUX) reported better-than-excepted results late Thursday. Same-store sales were up 7%, total revenue rose 18% while net income rose 16% in the quarter. The firm said results were driven by higher traffic and a propensity for customers to trade up to higher-priced products. Shares were up nearly 5% on the report.
With various moving parts to Capital One's (COF) quarter, we are generally pleased with the results. While credit card purchase and receivable volumes typically decline from fourth quarter peaks, those declines for Capital One were less than they have been in prior years. With marketing expenses and additional costs declining from their seasonal highs in fourth quarter, CapOne reported net income of $2.00 per diluted share a slight improvement compared to quarterly results a year ago.
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