Markets Kiss & Make Up for Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

As we saw during today’s pre-market activity, investors were in a mood to kiss and make up from their stormy session yesterday — the worst of the year among all major indices. It is Valentine’s Day, after all. The Dow bid up a chunk of the 500+ points it lost yesterday, +150 points or +0.39%, and it was the low performer of the day. The S&P 500 gained +0.96%, while the Nasdaq climbed +203 points, +1.30%. The Russell 2000, again marching to the beat of its own drummer, grew +2.38% today.

Today was not big for economic reports, but tomorrow sure will be. Aside from the normal Weekly Jobless Claims, we’ll see Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing and Homebuilder Confidence surveys for February and Import/Export prices, Retail Sales and Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization for January. In addition, we’ll get Coinbase COIN, Applied Materials AMAT and The Trade Desk TTD earnings out tomorrow. Aside from yesterday’s big CPI report, Thursday will be the busiest day of the week.

Cisco Systems CSCO, as per usual, beat earnings estimates in its fiscal Q2 report out after the closing bell today, with its 87 cents per share coming in 3 cents ahead of estimates. Revenues of $12.79 billion also surpassed the $12.72 billion analysts were looking for. However, shares are down -5.5% on the news of disappointing earnings on both top and bottom lines for fiscal Q3. The company also announced it will be cutting 5% of its workforce. Shares had been near-breakeven year to date, prior to this afternoon’s selloff.

Twilio TWLO shares are selling off -7% in the wake of Q4 earnings reported after today’s close. However, the company beat estimates on both top and bottom lines this afternoon — and it still has no earnings misses going back as far as you choose to look. Earnings of 86 cents per share were way beyond the expected 57 cents (and nearly 4x last year’s tally of 22 cents per share). But a downgrade ahead of the earnings announcement from HSBC has helped foster the move lower at this hour.

Lithium producer Albemarle ALB nearly doubled earnings expectations for Q4 — $1.85 per share versus 99 cents in the Zacks consensus — while also coming in ahead of estimates on the top line: $2.36 billion versus $2.29 billion, though still -9.9% year over year. We know that lithium companies have increased capacity of late, which has led to the big drop year over year, and Albemarle brought a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) into its earnings report, though this is the first positive surprise on its bottom line in the last four quarters. Shares are down -4% in late trading.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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