Markets

S&P 500 Gains 35 Points, Another Record High as Tech Giants Soar

The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained 35 points, a solid 1%, on Aug. 26, setting another all-time high, driven upwards by huge gains from tech giants Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)

The massive uplift from these four companies, which finished the day with a combined market cap approaching $1.5 trillion, helped buoy the market on a day that saw more stocks lose than gain. 

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Salesforce reports huge earnings beat, adding to Dow addition momentum

Shares of the customer relationship management software giant jumped an incredible 26% today, after it reported that second-quarter sales increased 29% surpassing $5 billion for the first time and it boosted expectations for the rest of the year. The huge earnings beat comes only one day after it was announced that the company will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) on Aug. 31, as part of a big shakeup of the index

Combined, Salesforce shares have gained an incredible 31% this week. I bet the Dow folks wish they'd pulled the trigger on pulling the tech giant into the mix a little sooner. 

Netflix subscriber survey sends shares surging

The streaming giant added almost 26 million subscribers in the first half of 2020, an incredible number that was almost certainly juiced by the millions of people around the world stuck at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Well, investors got what looks like great news today, when a note from a Piper Sandler analyst reported a recent survey that indicated that most of those customers would stick around post-coronavirus. Netflix shares surged 12% on the day. 

Facebook surges despite Apple ad risk; Adobe moving higher

In a company blog post today, social media giant Facebook said that Apple's bupcoming iOS 14 release would negatively affect its advertising business on the company's devices. The latest version of iOS includes a number of anti-tracking features that make it more difficult for Facebook to deliver ads through other apps. According to the post, testing indicates the loss of personalization results in more than a 50% drop in ad revenue. 

In response, Facebook's shares surged 8%. Not what you'd expect from a company that counts on advertising for the vast majority of its cash flows and has a huge portion of its most active users connecting on Facebook and Instagram apps on an iPhone. 

Facebook wasn't the only head-scratcher tech giant moving higher today. Shares of Adobe gained more than 9%, a huge move for a $230 billion=plus market cap company that didn't make any big announcements. 

Earnings ahead

Discount retailers Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) and Dollar General (NYSE: DG) both report quarterly results on Aug. 27, along with specialty retailers Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA) and Gap (NYSE: GPS)

The discounters are expected to report sales that have held up better than specialists in the beauty and apparel segments, since both sell consumer staples including food and cleaning supplies. But all four will help give investors more data about what's happening out in the real world -- not just last quarter, but also in the weeks since the quarter ended, and since the $600 federal boost to weekly unemployment payments expired. 

While a vaccine and treatments for the coronavirus remain the key to moving forward in a meaningful way, every retailer that reports gives us a little more information about the here and now, and that can be handy information to have. 

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