US Markets

Markets Start Friday in the Red; Plus Q2 Earnings for VZ, NEE

Friday, July 24, 2020

Ahead of today’s opening bell for the final trading day of the week, external pressures in geopolitics with the U.S.’s relationship with China and presidential politics hampering possible futures of Big Tech companies are keeping indexes in the red. China has retaliated over the U.S. closing its Houston consulate by shuttering the U.S.’s presence in Chengdu province. Ruminations about a potential Democratic sweep in November’s elections may put a bullseye on companies like Alphabet GOOGL and Amazon AMZN in addressing their perceived monopoly status.

As of now, the Nasdaq appears headed for a lower week overall, down roughly 125 points ahead of Friday’s open, with the Dow down 120 points and the S&P 500 15 points lower than Thursday’s close. These are far from cataclysmic numbers; consider, for instance, the horrific scenario Q2 earnings season bearish investors were painting for the markets; instead, lower earnings and revenues from the year-ago quarter are generally being digested with little difficulty. Put more simply, we’re not nearly as bad off as some had anticipated.

Q2 Earnings Friday at a Glance

Verizon VZ released Q2 earnings results this morning, beating estimates on both top and bottom lines. Earnings of $1.18 per share (not including special items included in the quarter worth 5 cents per share) topped the Zacks consensus by 2 cents, while revenues of $30.45 surpassed the $29.91 billion expected (though down from the $32.1 billion reported in the year-ago quarter). Verizon has now outperformed on its bottom line in four of the last five quarters. For more on VZ’s earnings, click here.

NextEra Energy NEE posted widely mixed results in its Q2 report, outpacing bottom-line estimates by 11 cents to $2.61 per share, while on the top line the Florida-based utility brought in $4.20 billion, missing expectations by 20%. It marks the fifth time in the last six quarters the wind and solar giant beat earnings estimates, but that top-line miss may take a bite out of its share price today. NextEra is up 16% year to date. For more on NEE’s earnings, click here.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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