As dire as things have looked on Wall Street lately, Friday afternoon brought some much-needed relief. Huge gains in the last hour of trading sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI), S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC), and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) up sharply on the day. Index Daily Percentage Change Daily Point Change Dow +1.65% +565 S&P 500 +2.43% +105 Nasdaq +3.13% +418
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The largest stocks in the market tended to do better than smaller-cap companies, and that was evident in two of the behemoths that led the Dow higher. Both Visa (NYSE: V) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) posted massive gains that together accounted for more than 200 points of the Dow's gains. Below, let's take a closer look at what the two companies said that made investors so happy.
Visa shows the strength of the global economy
Shares of Visa jumped almost 11% on Friday. That represented nearly $22 of upward movement for the high-priced Dow component, which was enough to represent about 145 points of gains for the price-weighted average.
Visa's fiscal first-quarter results were strong. Revenue jumped 24% year over year to $7.1 billion, while adjusted net income climbed at a similar 25% pace to $3.9 billion. That worked out to adjusted earnings of $1.81 per share, which was quite a bit better than most investors had expected.
Visa attributed the gains to a number of factors. Growth in e-commerce has remained strong even as some pandemic-related restrictions have lifted, and the payment network giant said that it has seen a larger rebound in cross-border travel than it had anticipated at this stage. Indeed, payments volume climbed 20%, with cross-border volume rising 51% excluding travel within Europe. Solid results in data processing and international transactions also contributed to performance.
Looking ahead, CEO Alfred Kelly said that Visa doesn't anticipate the omicron variant will curtail a global recovery. With that confidence, investors were pleased not just for Visa's prospects but for the entire stock market, and it's easy to see why markets got a lift on the news.
Home Depot gets a new leader
Elsewhere, shares of Home Depot were higher by nearly 3%. That might not seem like a big deal, but the home improvement retailer's higher share price made it a $10 move that lifted the Dow by roughly 65 points, and it came on news that the company had chosen a new leader.
Late Thursday, Home Depot revealed that it had named Ted Decker to be CEO, effective March 1. Decker will take the place of current CEO Craig Menear, but Menear will retain his leadership role as the chair of the Home Depot board of directors.
Decker has been with Home Depot since 2000 and had been named chief operating officer in October 2020. That gave the new CEO experience in dealing with global store operations and supply chain management, as well as real estate, marketing, and online strategy. Previous work as chief merchant provided even more well-rounded experience to inform Decker's leadership.
Home Depot has enjoyed strong growth for decades and helped tap into high demand for home improvement goods as the pandemic forced people to stay home. Investors see a lot of potential in working more with contractors as well as with do-it-yourself consumers, and Decker could well be vital to launching the next stage of Home Depot's growth.
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