After months of nasty volatility, uncomfortable worries and policy dissonance from the Federal Reserve (first hawkish, now dovish), the Nasdaq 100 rose above its October high to bag a new record on Wednesday. The move caps a gain of nearly one-third off of the low set in late December (Christmas Eve, actually) and comes just days ahead of the long Easter holiday.
Tech stocks, obviously, have been the star with buying attention focusing on familiar mega-cap names as well as the entire semiconductor sector. The group is getting attention ahead of an expected rebound in global manufacturing activity as well as the fact that processing power is pretty much found in every manufactured good these days. The Internet of Things and all that.
While the broader Nasdaq Composite is still just below its prior high, here are the key tech stocks driving the narrower Nasdaq 100 higher:
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares are up another 3.6% in mid-day trading on Wednesday, capping a rise of more than 40% off of the low set in October. The move extends further past the prior high set last summer near the $57-a-share level. The company announced this morning that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business, something investors are cheering as management concentrates on 5G network infrastructure instead.
The company will next report results on April 25 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 90 cents per share on revenues of $16 billion. When the company last reported on Jan. 24, earnings of $1.28 beat estimates by 6 cents on a 9.4% rise in revenues.
Not only is hype building for the release of all-new iPhone handsets later this year, but Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are benefiting from the signing of royalty agreements with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), which finally puts an end to a bitter, global legal dispute. After paying a settlement, Apple will feature 5G Qualcomm modems in future handsets.
The company will next report results on April 30 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $2.37 per share on revenues of $57.5 billion. When the company last reported on Jan. 29, earnings of $4.18 beat estimates by a penny on a 4.5% drop in revenues.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares are exiting a two-month consolidation range to push deeper into levels not seen since October. Shares are already up more than 40% and look ready for another run at the $2,000 a share level. The company continues to push aggressively into new business areas, including electric vehicle startup Rivian and reports the company is in talks to launch an ad-supported music service.
The company will next report results on April 25 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $4.72 per share on revenues of $59.6 billion. When the company last reported on Jan. 31, earnings of $6.04 beat estimates by 53 cents on a 19.7% rise in revenues.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been a steady eddy, rising calmly out of its late December low to push to new record highs back in March. This marks the resumption of an uptrend that started back in the summer of 2016. The folks at Barron’s recently penned a positive article on the stock.
The company will next report results on April 24 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1 per share on revenues of $29.8 billion. When the company last reported on Jan. 30, earnings of $1.10 beat estimates by a penny on a 12.3% rise in revenues.
As of this writing, William Roth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.