As expected the earnings reported by Amazon.com and Alphabet Inc. after the market closed yesterday had a big impact on investor sentiment — unfortunately in a bad way. Like many companies this quarter, Amazon topped earnings estimates but missed slightly on revenues and lowered guidance for the fourth quarter and the all-important holiday season. The stock was down 7.82 percent.
Alphabet reported similar results, but the stock was down a more modest 2.2 percent. Healthcare information technology company Cerner Corp. was clobbered after also hitting earnings but missing revenue targets yesterday. The stock was down nearly 15 percent in morning trading–hitting a new 52-week low — but recovered ground in the afternoon. It closed down 10.86 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.
Tech stocks were once again the most volatile sector of the market. Up 2.95 percent yesterday, the Nasdaq Composite index was down 2.07 percent today. NVIDIA Corp. (-4.59 percent), Netflix (-4.17 percent) and Facebook (-3.7 percent) were down sharply. Twitter, still glowing from its nearly 16 percent jump yesterday was up 1.76%.
The only other tech stock in the black today was Verisign Inc. which gained 2.08 percent. The company, which registers internet domain names, reported solid earnings last night. The stock dropped a staggering 15 percent in the first hour of trading, however, possibly out of fears that the company’s registry agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department would not be approved before a deadline next month. Verisign, however, also revealed that that would likely trigger a six-month extension in the agreement. The stock recovered within an hour.
Universal Health Services, down 4.89 percent, got the familiar punishment for the good earnings/cautious outlook report it issued yesterday. It beat on earnings by 12 percent but missed on revenues by 1.2 percent and lowered forward guidance.
Tesla shares continued to roll today, up 5.09 percent — the biggest gain on the index. With the stock still having one of the largest short positions against it in the market, the Tesla bears are gnashing their teeth as their losses mount. The stock is now up 27 percent in the last four trading sessions and seemingly divorced from the mayhem in the rest of the market.
Chipotle Mexican Grill had the second largest gain on the index, rising 3.42 percent. It was one of the rare companies this quarter to miss revenue estimates and not get grilled. The fact that operating margins for restaurants were up 2.5 percent apparently made up for the miss. Chipotle shares are up 52 percent so far this year. The company plans to open another 140 to 155 restaurants next year.