What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Markets Fool.com

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Stocks closed out the trading week on a positive note, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC)rising slightly. The indexes had been up by almost a full percentage point early in Friday's session, but they declined in the afternoon hours to finish with just modest gains.

Today's stock market


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

TheUnited States Oil Fund ETF (NYSEMKT: USO)has been one the market's most heavily traded funds lately thanks to the commodity's wild price swings. But a mild move in the price of crude oil held USO to a less than 1% drop on Friday. The SPDR Select Finance Sector Fund(NYSEMKT: XLF), meanwhile, rose 1% after several of its biggest constituents posted strong earnings results.

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As for individual stocks, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM)attracted plenty of investor attention on Friday.

Twitter loses another suitor

Twitter's painful month continued as the stock fell hard to bring its October results to a brutal 27% decline so far. Shares slumped 5% on heavy trading volume after salesforce.com officially backed away from a rumored potential acquisition deal. Executives toldFinancial Times that a purchase "wasn't the right fit for us," and a spokesman confirmed the news with The Wall Street Journal.

Investors' hopes had been raised in early October by comments from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who called Twitter an "unpolished jewel" with valuable data assets. However, the executive team was apparently swayed by negative feedback from investors that included a sharp drop in its stock price and has decided to pass on the opportunity.

With a buyout seemingly off the table, Twitter's operating metrics will come under even closer scrutiny this month. Management projections call for the social media giant to post $600 million of third-quarter sales,flat when compared to the prior quarter and just 7% higher than the year-ago period. The company will have plenty of positive engagement metrics to trumpet, including high interest in the presidential election and in its live video broadcasts of NFL games. But investors will likely be looking for more, including evidence that user growth has sped up and that monetization trends are improving.

JPMorgan posts record earnings

JPMorgan shares were flat after the banking giant posted surprisingly strong third-quarter results. Higher profits across each of its divisions contributed to record overall earnings as profits grew to $1.58 per share and sales rose to $25.5 billion. Despite investor concerns over the low-interest-rate environment, the company beat consensus estimates by a wide margin on both the top and bottom lines. "We delivered strong results this quarter with each of our businesses performing well," CEO Jamie Dimon said in a press release.

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Morgan's investment banking division was a standout performer, with revenue rising 16% and net income doubling to a record $2.9 billion. Management credited several positive trends for that success, including a near-50% spike in markets revenue as clients traded busily following volatile events like the Brexit vote and changing expectations on the timing of the Federal Reserve's next interest rate hike.

Fed officials expect the current low-interest-rate environment to easily stretch out past 2017, but JPMorgan and peers like Citigroup are demonstrating that they can still produce strong results even with federal fund rates stuck near 0%.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Salesforce.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.