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Tech Titans Amazon, Google, Microsoft Earnings Will Highlight Cloud Growth; S&P 500 Futures | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Futures for the S&P 500 index, Nasdaq 100 and Dow industrials rose modestly late Wednesday amid another wave of earnings before and after the close. Looking ahead to Thursday, Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) are on tap to report quarterly earnings late.

XAutoplay: On | OffWhile their origins are in different fields, the tech titans are all major cloud-computing players, with Microsoft and Google trying to close the gap on dominant Amazon Web Services. Apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult, because the companies are vague about the size and scope of these businesses and they compete in somewhat different fields. But investors will get an idea of how well these companies are doing in the cloud and some indication of overall cloud growth.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% above fair value. So did Nasdaq 100 and Dow futures.

In Wednesday’s stock market trading, the S&P 500 index, Nasdaq composite and Dow industrials all fell 0.5%, though they finished well off session lows.

Amazon

Amazon earnings are expected to tumble to 1 cent a share, excluding items, from 52 cents a year earlier, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue is seen climbing 28% to $41.97 billion. While investors will want to know about Amazon’s Whole Foods integration, how much it’s investing to speed up deliveries, and its holiday guidance, the e-commerce giant will continue to rely on AWS for much of its revenue growth and the bulk of its profit.

Amazon shares dipped 0.3% to 972.91 on Wednesday, holding just above a 50-day moving average. It’s in a flat base with a potential 1,083.41 buy point. But it’s in a late-stage pattern, which is more likely to fail.

Alphabet

Alphabet provides the least clarity about its cloud computing business, which is grouped in an “other revenue” category. But Google executives have said that cloud computing is a rapidly growing business.

Alphabet announced an alliance with Cisco Systems (CSCO) to help it market its cloud services to businesses, government agencies and medical institutions. Google has mostly made inroads on tech firms.

Overall, Alphabet revenue likely grew 20% to $21.94 billion, with EPS advancing 16% to $8.43.

Alphabet shares cleared a 1,006.29 buy point on Oct. 13, but fell back below that level a few days later. The stock edged up 0.3% to 991.46 on Wednesday.

As for Cisco, shares fell 0.8% to 34.30, testing a 34.20 buy point cleared last Friday.

Microsoft

Microsoft groups its cloud figures in a variety of ways, making it hard to understand the size and speed of its businesses. In its fiscal Q4, Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud revenue grew 11% to $7.4 billion, including a 97% spike in its Azure business to an unspecified total. In any case, cloud computing has been a key source of growth as its legacy Windows/Office business struggles with PC sales trending lower.

A growing sense that Microsoft has turned the corner has lifted the stock, which is up 26.5% year to date. Shares dipped 0.3% to 78.63. That’s slightly extended from a 74.52 buy point after briefly pulling back into the 5% chase zone intraday.

Investors expect fiscal Q1 EPS to drop 5% to 72 cents. Revenue should expand 15% to $23.53 billion.

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