Friday July 22nd


Nasdaq falls as Snap plunges, but is still headed for a strong weekly gain

The Nasdaq Composite fell Friday as investors digested a fresh batch of corporate earnings that included disappointing results from Snap, which sent social media shares reeling. The Nasdaq traded 0.2% lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 144 points, or 0.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.1%. The three major averages are set for weekly gains, with the Nasdaq on course to close out the week 4.8% higher. The Dow is on track for a 2.9% advance, while the S&P 500 is set to rise 3.6%. Investors have enjoyed a strong week for markets, fueled by a rally in tech stocks, as Wall Street absorbs second-quarter results that have come in better than feared. A robust report from American Express boosted the Dow. The credit card company jumped 5% after posting an earnings beat, citing record spending in travel and entertainment. Shares of Snap plummeted a whopping 35% after the Snapchat parent posted second-quarter results that fell short of analysts’ expectations and noted that it plans to slow hiring. The report was followed by a slew of analyst downgrades on the stock. The results from Snap weighed on other social media and technology stocks investors feared could get impacted by slowing online advertising sales. Shares of Meta Platforms and Pinterest fell 5% and 8% in the premarket, respectively, while Alphabet lost more than 2%. Twitter fell 2% in the premarket after reporting disappointing second-quarter results that missed on earnings, revenue and user growth. The social media company blamed challenges in the ad industry, as well as “uncertainty” around Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company, for the miss. Verizon dropped more than 4% in premarket trading after the wireless network operator cut its full-year forecast, as higher prices dented phone subscriber growth. Nearly 21% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far. Of those, 70% have beaten analyst expectations, according to FactSet. The Invesco QQQ Trust slid 0.58% after hours. The Nasdaq Composite posted its third straight positive session on Thursday. That came on the back of positive quarterly results from Tesla, which popped nearly 10% on Thursday. “This is showing you that market expectations are really low, that a little bit of good news can go a long way when you have low expectations,” said Truist’s Keith Lerner, noting that investors rotated back into growth stocks even amid this weak economic data. Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mixed Friday as investors digest Japan’s inflation data. The Nikkei 225 recovered from earlier losses to rise 0.4% and close at 27,914.66 and the Topix index climbed 0.28% to 1,955.97. South Korea’s Kospi was 0.66% lower at 2,393.14, and the Kosdaq fell 0.68% to 789.75. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 6,791.5. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.12% in the final hour of trade, but mainland China markets gave up earlier gains to fall, with the Shanghai Composite slightly lower at 3,269.97. The Shenzhen Component slipped as much as 1.3% during the session but recovered some losses to close down 0.49% at 12,394.02. Oil prices fell slightly Friday after sliding around 3% in the previous session on weakened demand in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, and a pick-up in supply from Libya. Brent crude futures dipped 81 cents, or 0.8%, to $103.02 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down by $1.12, or 1.2%, at $95.23. WTI has been pummeled over the past two sessions after data showed that U.S. gasoline demand had dropped nearly 8% from a year earlier in the midst of the peak summer driving season, hit by record prices at the pump. Gold prices rose Friday as traders looked ahead to next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. Spot gold traded 0.3% higher at $1,724.37 per ounce. Prices on Thursday fell to their lowest level in more than a year at $1,680.25 before ending 1.3% higher. Bullion has gained 0.7% so far this week. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,723.40.