Stocks stage robust rebound helped by big tech

Earnings and economic data drove a late session rebound

U.S. equity markets erased steep losses late in the session as technology stocks helped drive the rebound as investors celebrated a strong quarter from Microsoft and anticipated the same from e-commerce giant Amazon which topped expectations after the closing bell.

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Those shares were rallying in the extended session after revenue of $87.4 billion beat the $86.09 billion estimate. Profits came in at $6.07 per share, well ahead of the $4.03 estimate. Amazon's value traded about the $1 trillion level late Thursday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003351.6+53.14+1.61%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27584.06+410.10+1.51%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11117.525026+203.96+1.87%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,174.05+78.92+2.55%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.209.44+1.62+0.78%

Investors also shrugged off the spreading of the coronavirus weighed even after The World Health Organization said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that the virus' outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency of international concern." The death toll from the coronavirus rose has reached 170 and 7,818 people worldwide have been infected, the WHO said. U.S. authorities confirmed a sixth case of the virus.

Along with earnings, solid data points served as a foundation for equities. U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 2.1 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, matching estimates.

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines were all weaker amid coronavirus-related worries. Cruise operators Carnival Corp. and Royal Carribean Cruises were sharply lower.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.31.34+1.56+5.24%
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.15.31+0.24+1.59%

Meanwhile, drugmakers and medical mask makers gained.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NVAXNOVAVAX INC.111.18-2.38-2.10%
LAKELAKELAND INDS18.83+0.39+2.12%

Elsewhere, earnings results continued to come out mostly better than expected.

Tesla zoomed higher after posting its second straight quarterly profit as both earnings and revenue topped estimates. The electric-vehicle maker also said production has begun for its Model Y crossover SUV.

Microsoft hit a record high after announcing revenue from its cloud-computing services business spiked 62 percent from a year ago. Both earnings and revenue were above expectations.

Facebook reported daily active users, earnings and revenue that were ahead of Wall Street estimates, but shares were under pressure as costs and expenses soared 34 percent year over year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.421.20+13.86+3.40%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.209.44+1.62+0.78%
FBFACEBOOK INC.256.82+2.00+0.78%

Altria took a $4.1 billion write-down on its Juul business and has now written off 66.7 percent of its $12.8 billion investment in the e-cigarette maker that was made in November 2018.

United Parcel Service took a $1.8 billion write-down of its own, related to its pension plan. The logistics giant lost $106 million in the fourth quarter.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MOALTRIA GROUP INC.38.95+0.68+1.78%

Commodities were mixed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down to $52.80 a barrel and gold up 0.8 percent at $1,578 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 1.587 percent, its lowest level in nearly four months.

Markets were lower across Europe with France’s CAC, Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX all closing down 1.4 percent.


Overnight, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei shed 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. China’s Shanghai Composite remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.