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The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 750 points Friday, more than erasing its losses one day earlier, as a stock market hungry for good news received two morsels: a stronger-than-expected jobs report and comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman that signaled more flexibility in raising interest rates.
The Dow rallied 3.3% to 24,433.16, with the S&P 500 Index rising 3.4% to 2,531.94. Technology stocks, which have been especially volatile in recent months, were among the biggest gaining. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4.3% to 6,738.86.
Apple’s stock rose 4.3% to $ 148.26 two days after the company warned that a slowdown in China and overall iPhone sales would cause its revenue in the holiday quarter to fall well short of analyst expectations. Before Friday, Apple had lost 39% of the peak value it reached in early October.
The tech sector was the best performing subset of the S&P 500, rising 4%. Many large-cap tech stocks rose even further, with Amazon gaining 5%, Microsoft rising 4.7%, Alphabet advancing 5.1% and Netflix surging 9.7%. Since a market selloff on Christmas Eve, Netflix has gained 27%.
Early Friday, the Labor Department said that U.S. employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated and labor-force participation jumped, suggesting the underlying economy is holding up amid falling stock prices.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 312,000 in December, surpassing analyst forecasts. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2% year over year, the fastest pace since 2009. The unemployment rate inched up from a five-decade low to 3.9% as more people entered the labor market to find work.
The stock rally advanced further after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated at a conference in Atlanta that the Fed may pause from raising interest rates in the coming months. “With the muted inflation readings that we’ve seen coming in, we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves,” Powell said. The remarks were received as more dovish than some of Powell’s recent comments, which have drawn the ire of President Trump.
Both developments were welcome in a market that had been bracing for more bad news. Apple’s revenue revision had led investors to worry about more disappointing earnings later this month. A Thursday report also showed manufacturing activity was slowing faster than expected. But investors took the jobs report in particular as a sign that the economy is holding up.
“No matter what the Fed’s going to do this year, today’s number showed that even though the Fed may still raise rates once or twice this year, it showed that a recession is still not very likely this year,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “Recessionary fears were really starting to grow but today’s number eased those fears.”
(Reuters) – Oracle Corp on Monday forecast current-quarter profit above estimates after growth in its cloud services and license support unit helped the business software maker surpass Wall Street expectations for the second quarter.
FILE PHOTO: People gather prior to the start of a keynote speech at the All Things Oracle OpenWorld Summit in San Francisco, California September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jana Asenbrennerova/File Photo
Shares rose 5 percent, with the company saying that excluding fluctuations in exchange rates, it expected third-quarter adjusted profit to be between 86 cents and 88 cents per share.
Analysts on average were expecting 84 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue at its cloud services and license support unit, its biggest, rose 2.7 percent to $ 6.64 billion and beat analysts’ estimate, as more companies shifted to cloud computing from the traditional on-premise database model to cut costs.
Oracle’s in June created a new revenue reporting structure that merged its cloud and software license businesses, which analysts have said gives little insight into the standalone performance of its cloud unit.
Oracle is a late entrant to the rapidly growing cloud-based software business, but has aggressively stepped up its efforts to catch up with rivals such as Workday Inc, Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com Inc.
“Oracle’s growth in cloud services and license support of just 3 percent appears to be contradicting the strength in the overall cloud market,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager of Synovus Trust Co, which hold 152,500 shares in the company.
Last month, Workday reported a 35 percent jump in cloud subscription revenue, while Salesforce’s flagship product Sales Cloud grew 11 percent.
“Oracle is still dragging behind other old line enterprise software players like Microsoft in its transition to becoming a top cloud company,” said Morgan, whose firm also hold shares in Salesforce and Microsoft Corp.
The company’s net income rose to $ 2.33 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the second quarter ended Nov. 30. Excluding items, the company earned 80 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 78 cents.
Total revenue fell marginally to $ 9.56 billion, but brushed past analyst expectation of $ 9.52 billion.
Shares of the company were up at $ 48 in after-market trading.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur
(Reuters) – Traffic growth on Baidu Inc’s mobile app helped drive higher-than-expected third quarter revenue as China’s biggest search engine operator places more emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving.
FILE PHOTO: A Baidu logo is seen at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) at the National Convention Center in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Revenue rose to 28.2 billion yuan ($ 4.11 billion) from 23.49 billion yuan in the same quarter a year ago. That beat the average estimate of 27.53 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data.
Baidu has been investing heavily in new business lines following tighter rules in China introduced in 2016 requiring search engines to make it clear which results are paid-for ads, but has said these projects may not help boost sales growth in the near term.
Baidu’s sales momentum has lagged technology peers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, and it has sold or closed several businesses over the past year which were in direct competition.
Baidu forecast fourth-quarter revenue of 25.48 billion yuan to 26.72 billion yuan, lower than financial analysts’ target of 27.69 billion yuan.
At the same time, Baidu has become one of China’s biggest names in AI, with its efforts endorsed by the government as well as international firms. This month, it became the first Chinese company to join an AI ethics group alongside members such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
“Baidu delivered a solid third quarter with impressive results from search, feed and new AI businesses,” said Baidu Chief Executive Robin Li.
He added that Baidu’s AI platform DuerOS saw strong adoption and Apollo, Baidu’s self-driving car technology, was now powering fully autonomous Apolong minibuses in over 10 locations.
Baidu said its AI system blocked over 430 million medical ads to combat misleading and low-quality medical advertisements in the third quarter. The stricter rules on Chinese internet advertising resulted from the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using Baidu.
Net income rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 12.4 billion yuan, the company said.
Excluding gains from the divestiture of its financial services business, Baidu posted adjusted earnings per share of 19.01 yuan versus Wall Street expectations of 16.70, according to Refinitiv data.
While the company said its Baidu App saw strong traffic in the quarter, its daily active user number dropped to 151 million in September from a peak of 161 million reached in August. The September number was up 19 percent year-on-year.
Baidu’s U.S.-listed stock was slightly lower following the results in after-hours trade on Tuesday. The stock is down over 20 percent since the beginning of the year amid a wider selloff of Chinese technology shares.
Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Jane Lanhee Lee in San Francisco; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown
This isn’t just any Hubble photo of the Lagoon Nebula; this is a special birthday photo celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 28 years in orbit. The Lagoon Nebula, seen here in dazzling color, is 4,000 light years away and is gargantuan as star nurseries go: 20 light years high and 55 light years wide.
This is a gorgeous photo and one you might not recognize of a famous astral body, called the Lagoon Nebula. The Hubble Space Telescope took this photo in infrared light, which reveals different elements of the nebula not seen in the visible spectrum. The bright star in the center is called Herschel 36 and is only 1 million years old—a fledgling in stellar terms.
Mars is covered in craters and while typically thought to be a “dead” planet, it’s actually quite active. Earth’s red neighbor has wind, although not strong enough to kill The Martian’s Mark Watney. This impact crater (a relatively new one by Mars standards) is called Bonestell crater, located in the plain known as Acidalia Planitia. The streaks in the image are caused by winds blowing down into the crater.
This photo of the Sun was taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory some weeks ago. The dark regions are called coronal holes—openings in the Sun’s magnetic field—and when open, they spit highly charged particles into space. When these particles run into Earth’s magnetic field, they create spectacular displays of aurora near our northern and southern poles.
Hello deep space! This galaxy cluster has a name that is rather difficult to remember—PLCK G308.3-20.2, but it’s way cool. Galaxy clusters like this contain thousands of galaxies, some just like our own. They’re held together by gravity, making them one of the largest known structures in space affected by this invisible force.
Ready to shoot the moon? The new administration in Washington is setting its sights on some lunar adventures. Among the various reasons why people want to head back to the moon: There’s a decent amount of water frozen around our cratered satellite, and also the views from there aren’t too shabby.
(Reuters) – Applied Materials Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly results and gave a strong current-quarter forecast as the world’s largest supplier of tools to make semiconductors enjoys strong demand in its chip and display businesses.
The company’s shares were up about 1 percent in trading after the bell on Thursday, reversing course from a drop of nearly 2 percent immediately after the results were released.
Applied Materials has now topped analysts estimates in each quarter of the latest fiscal year, helping its shares surge about 79 percent this year, making them the fourth best performer on the Philadelphia semiconductor index.
Applied Materials, whose results are seen as a barometer for the semiconductor industry, has been benefiting from higher demand for 3D NAND memory chips from smartphone makers and the shift to organic light-emitting diode technology for displays.
Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2.0 percent from 2017, according to a report published by research firm Gartner in October. (gtnr.it/2AUZwTp)
While Applied Materials has benefited from surging sales of smartphones, it is also set to cash in on the rise of new technologies such as AI, big data, machine learning, augmented reality and autonomous driving.
“The semiconductor business has clear tailwinds around next generation areas such as AI and other parts of the tech food chain,” Daniel Ives, analyst at GBH Insights said.
The Santa Clara, California-based company forecast current-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 94 cents to $ 1.02 and net sales of $ 4.00 billion to $ 4.20 billion.
The forecasts were comfortably above analysts’ average estimate of a profit of 91 cents and revenue of $ 3.96 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said its net income rose 61 percent to $ 982 million in the fourth quarter. Excluding items, it earned 93 cents per share, 2 cents above analysts’ estimates.
Total net sales rose 20.4 percent to $ 3.97 billion. Analysts were expecting $ 3.94 billion.
Sales from its display business, which caters to television, PC and smartphone makers, rose nearly 50 percent to $ 677 million and handily beat analysts estimates of $ 452 million.
“There is huge demand for new display technology, while … average screen sizes for both TVs and mobile devices are growing considerably,” Chief Executive Gary Dickerson said on a post-earnings call.
Revenue from its semiconductor business, the company’s largest, rose 14.3 percent to $ 2.43 billion, topping analysts’ estimate of $ 2.13 billion.
Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza
Chad Brown the trainer for Cloud Computing celebrates with the Woodlawn Vase after the horse won the 142nd Preakness Stakes horse race at …
Sales of Oracle’s cloud-computing software and platform service rose 34 per cent to $ 451-million in the quarter. Sales of traditional software licenses …