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The Dow Jones today opened roughly 30 points off Thursday's close, as investors turned to the record-breaking performance of the Nasdaq tech sector. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) significantly exceeded earnings estimates, with Amazon doubling its profits year over year.
With the tech sector booming, Money Morning Defense and Tech Specialist Michael Robinson is looking at small-cap companies that have immense growth potential. Robinson has identified a company that's revolutionizing how businesses approach IT solutions. Michael recently laid out his five reasons for buying this company – check them out here…
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's Money Morning Insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch…
Money Morning Insight of the Day
Earnings season is well underway. And if you're looking to make real money, the time to get started is now. Money Morning Quantitative Specialist Chris Johnson argues that the markets are at a tipping point. And with just a few smart plays in today's classic "stock-picker's market," you can pull in triple-digit gains with just a small investment. Read those picks right here.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- Markets are watching a major geopolitical event unfold this morning. Leaders of North Korea and South Korea are set to meet for the first time in more than a decade. The meeting comes on the heels of Kim Jong Un making history as the first North Korean leader to cross the demilitarized zone since the end of the Korean war. The two nations will begin discussions about a peace settlement and a freeze on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
- The 10-year Treasury rate fell back under 3% today, as markets continue to eye interest rates and chatter about the U.S. Federal Reserve's goal to rein in inflation. The rate check comes as the U.S. Commerce Department prepares to release an update on Q1 GDP. Markets expect that GDP will decline to 2.0% That figure would be a big decline from the 2.9% that the Commerce Department reported for the fourth quarter of 2017.
- Crude oil prices are sliding as a slew of geopolitical stories weigh on trader sentiment. Yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he anticipates that U.S. President Donald Trump will restore sanctions on the Iranian government. Trump is also widely expected to pull out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal. While that would be bullish for prices, markets are paying more attention to rising U.S. production and news that Venezuela is cutting supply at a time that demand is soaring.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: MSFT, AMZN, INTC
- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) added another 2.3% after the firm reported stronger-than-expected earnings after the bell on Thursday. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.95 on top of $26.81 billion in revenue. Wall Street had expected EPS of $0.85 on top of $25.7 billion in revenue.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) popped more than 6.7% after the firm crushed earnings and revenue expectations after the bell Thursday. The company announced that its profits doubled year over year. However, the firm did announce that its string of investments will require an uptick in prices. Among the coming hikes on customers will be the rise in a subscription for Prime. The firm will hike a Prime subscription from $99 to $119 per year.
- Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) popped more than 7% after the company reported a huge jump in data-center revenue. The firm's strong earnings report follows a string of solid reports from other firms in the semiconductor space. The firm reported EPS of $0.87, a figure that topped profit expectations by $0.16. The firm also beat revenue expectations by more than $1 billion.
- Other firms reporting earnings include Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL), and Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CHTR).
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.