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The Dow Jones today will see solid gains as 162 companies report earnings.
Read for more details on this quarter's busiest earnings day.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- On Thursday, earnings season continues, a day after the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit new record highs. All eyes are on Amazon.com and Alphabet. Amazon is expected to give an update on its most recent Prime Day shopping event. It will inform investors on the success of its booming Amazon Web Services business. Alphabet, meanwhile, has experienced a slowdown in its advertising sales. Investors will seek updates on the firm's pending launch of Google Stadia across 14 countries in November.
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- Bernie Madoff is back in the news. The former billionaire behind the largest Ponzi scheme is seeking a commutation on his sentence from U.S. President Donald Trump. Madoff, 81, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 11 felony charges tied to money laundering, document forgery, and perjury. Madoff is serving his sentence in a federal prison in Butler, N.C. The White House has yet to say whether Trump will alter Madoff's sentence.
- Oil prices ticked higher again with concerns over global demand. WTI crude prices added 0.3% and now sit above $56 per barrel. Brent crude gained another 0.2% and ticked to $63.33 per barrel. Slowing economic growth continues to put a cap on crude prices despite ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States. This week, the United Kingdom gained support from Denmark, Italy, and France for a large-scale naval mission to protect oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Sweden is currently negotiating with Iran over a seized tanker that is owned by one of its companies.
Stock to Watch Today: TSLA, FB, LB
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) plunged more than 11% after the automaker reported a big quarterly loss. The company reported a loss of $408 million, or $2.31 per share. Sales came in at $6.3 billion, which was 50% higher than the same period in 2018. That quarterly loss was much larger than Wall Street had anticipated. The firm also announced that its No. 2 executive - CTO J.B. Straubel - is leaving his role to transition into an advisory role. Straubel was at the firm for more than 15 years.
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) were ticking higher after the tech giant reported a strong quarterly earnings report. The social media giant reported earnings per share of $1.99, a figure that topped Wall Street earnings by $0.12. Company revenue of $16.89 billion also beat analysts' expectations. In positive news, the firm reported an 8% jump in daily active users to 1.59 billion. "We had a strong quarter and our business and community continue to grow," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We are investing in building stronger privacy protections for everyone and on delivering new experiences for the people who use our services." The earnings report came the same day that the Federal Trade Commission announced the social media giant will pay a $5 billion fine as part of a settlement over the firm's privacy settings.
- Shares of L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) are in focus after the company launched an internal investigation into its relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. The disgraced financier, who is currently facing trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, managed money for L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner for roughly two decades, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We do not believe he was ever employed by nor served as an authorized representative of the company," a spokesperson for L Brands said in a statement. "Mr. Epstein's crimes are abhorrent, and we applaud every effort to bring justice to those harmed."
- Look for additional earnings reports from Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX), Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL), Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), and Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY).
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