Mega-Thursday for Earnings Releases Off to a Bumpy Start\u00a0

More companies are reporting earnings today, July 28, than any other day in the current earnings season. The combined market cap of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies releasing results today is nearly $7 trillion. Two companies with market caps of more than $1 trillion will be reporting results after markets close today.

First, though, let’s take a look at what happened after 2:30 p.m. ET yesterday. That’s when the Fed announced an expected 75 basis-point increase in the fed funds rate. All three major stock indexes added more than 1% in less than 30 minutes and closed with solid gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.37%, the S&P 500 rose 2.62%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 4.06%.

After Wednesday’s closing bell, Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META)  reported quarterly results that missed both top- and bottom-line estimates. The company formerly known as Facebook also failed for the first time to show year-over-year revenue growth. Meta blamed tight-fisted advertisers and Apple’s privacy policy and said it was going to cut jobs. The stock, which added about 6.6% on Wednesday, traded down 4% in Thursday’s premarket.

Chipmaker Qualcomm Corp. (NASDAQ: QCOM) beat consensus estimates but the shares also traded down by about 4% in premarket action. In its outlook for 2022, the company warned that the macroeconomic environment will remain challenging and a slowdown in demand for smartphones will negatively affect demand for its chips.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) also reported better-than-expected revenue and profits and reaffirmed previous guidance for adjusted EBIT and adjusted free cash flow. The automaker expects demand for its conventionally powered and electric vehicles to remain robust along with continuing strong pricing. Ford lifted its quarterly dividend by 50% to $0.15. Shares traded up about 6.6% in the premarket.

Online healthcare services provider Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) traded down by more than 25% Thursday morning after reporting a $3 billion impairment charge to goodwill and a net loss for the quarter of $19.22 per share.

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Before markets opened this morning, the Commerce Department issued its first of three reports on gross domestic product for the second quarter. GDP contracted by 0.9%, less than the 1.6% decline posted in the first quarter, but an indication that a recession is more likely. If the advance reading holds through the third report due out in September, the U.S. economy will have shrunk for two consecutive quarters, meeting the widely accepted definition of a recession.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 from a revised estimate of 261,000 last week to 256,000. Continuing claims decreased slightly from 1.384 million to 1.359 million.

Among companies reporting results before Thursday’s opening bell, coal miner Arch Resources Inc. (NYSE: ARCH) beat the consensus revenue estimate, but missed the consensus earnings per share (EPS) estimate of $21.79 by more than 10% because of falling prices for its coking coal, a decline the company said is the result of slowing economic growth. Shares traded down nearly 6% in Thursday’s premarket.

Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) beat top- and bottom-line estimates and shares traded up by nearly 5%.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) also topped estimates on the top and bottom lines. Even so, investors are worried about rising costs and a cautionary statement from CEO Bob Jordan on inflation and “suboptimal” operations sent shares tumbling by about 6%.

Among companies reporting results after markets close Thursday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) are trading down about 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively, in Thursday’s premarket. The two tech giants combine for more than half the market cap of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings late today. Intel is trading down by about 0.7%

On the plus side, First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) traded up by more than 11% ahead of earnings later Thursday, because of an agreement between Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin to add $370 billion to the reconciliation bill for clean energy and climate-change mitigation programs. The bill is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled House and be signed by the president.

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