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Stocks Open Mixed As FANGs Soar, But Merck, Chevron Drag On Dow | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks scraped out a mixed start Friday, a trainload of influential companies reported a mix of third-quarter results.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe tech sector rallied to an early lead, with the Nasdaq Composite jumping 1.1% on positive earnings news from Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL).

The Dow Jones industrial average limped out of the starting gate, down 0.1% as Dow names Microsoft and Intel (INTC) rallied, but Merck (MRK) and Chevron (CVX) fell 3% apiece.

The S&P 500 swung up 0.4%, boosted by techs, as well as First Solar (FSLR) and Tenet Healthcare (THC). The gauge also moved higher despite a 19% dive by Expedia (EXPE) and a 15% decline from Mattel (MAT) on their Q3 results.

FANGs Rally, Align Leads IBD 50; Mattel, Expedia Slide, J.C. Penney Warns

There was no shortage of dramatic moves in Friday’s premarket session. Among the FANG stock names, Amazon opened 9% higher after stomping third-quarter expectations on both its revenue and earnings lines. THe move lifted shares to within 3% of a flat base buy point at 1,083.41.

Google parent Alphabet shot ahead 5%, after reporting its earnings were up 32% on a 24% revenue gain, well above analyst expectations, and the growth of traffic acquisition costs slowed to 23%, from 28% in the prior quarter.  The gain put shares back in a buy range above a flat base buy point of 1,006.29.

The reports also mustered early strength in Apple (AAPL), which rose 1%, while Facebook (FB) gained nearly 3%.

IBD 50 stock Align Technologies (ALGN) spiked 12% in premarket trade. The maker of Invisalign clear braces reported big beats on both its sales and earnings lines, with per-share earnings up 60% on a 38% revenue gain. Shares are extended after an August rebound from 10-week support.

First Solar flashed 19% higher after a very big third-quarter earnings and revenue beat, and after boosting full-year earnings guidance to well above consensus views. The gain drove shares beyond buy range above a 53.10 buy point in a flat base.

On the downside, retailer J.C. Penney (JCP) dived 25% after warning that its third-quarter loss would be much wider than expected.

Q3 GDP Growth Surges; Consumer Sentiment Coming Up

The economy grew at a 3% clip in the third quarter, according to initial estimates from the Commerce Department. That is slightly below GDP growth of 3.1% in the second quarter, but well above economist consensus expectations for a 2.5% gain. Inflation was also picking up steam, with the GDP Price Index up 2.2% — better than double the second-quarter gain of 1%, as well as forecasts for a 1.6% increase.

The University of Michigan is expected to weigh in with its final tally of October consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. ET, and Baker Hughes (BHGE) reports its weekly rig count census at 1 p.m. ET.

Asia’s markets hammered out a powerful session, with the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo thumping out a 1.2% advance, leaving the index up 2.6% in a seventh-straight weekly gain. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.8%.

Europe’s markets rolled out uneven gains in afternoon trade, with the CAC-40 in Paris up 0.6%, Frankfurt’s DAX holding a 0.6% gain and London’s FTSE 100 struggling in flat trade.

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