Stock Market Today: New Records for Amazon, Netflix

It sure felt like a lot had happened in the stock market today. The S&P 500 traded in a tight range on Thursday, but closed higher by 58 basis points after a late-session push. That’s even as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) soared to new 52-week highs. That’s also as more bank earnings rolled in and amid new jobless claims data.

Weekly jobless claims came in a bit higher than the estimated 5.1 million, hitting 5.245 million. This brings the total up to a whopping 22 million jobless claims over the last four weeks. Wildly, that nearly cancels out the job gains since the Great Recession.

The numbers don’t bode well for a snap-back economic recovery, although the market still doesn’t seem to care too much about these numbers each Thursday. We’ll see if it has a larger impact as earnings continue to roll in.

Finally, the small business loan program put in place to help keep some small businesses alive during the pandemic is officially out of money. It hit its limit of $349 billion. At this time, the Small Business Administration is no longer able to accept new applications. However, President Donald Trump appears to be trying to increase this limit.

Earnings Roundup

Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) reported a non-GAAP loss of 37 cents per share, which beat expectations by 63 cents. However, a GAAP loss of $6.43 per share is likely what spooked investors. That’s even as revenue of $5.7 billion grew 6.5% year-over-year and beat estimates by $120 million. Shares ultimately fell 21% in the stock market today.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was under pressure in the stock market today, but has since snapped back to close essentially flat. That’s despite a top- and bottom-line miss, as revenue of $9.5 billion sank 7.8% year-over-year and missed estimates by more than $300 million.

Heads up! On Friday we’ll hear from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU).

Morgan Stanley and Rite Aid were Top Stock Trades from Thursday.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Ford (NYSE:F) is looking at May 4 to restart its Kentucky truck manufacturing plant. Buzzing wristbands will be enforced by Ford for employees after the reopen date to help with social distancing. Other auto companies are also eyeing May 4 as a potential reopening date for North American plants.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has a new feature coming out that will warn users of fake Covid-19 information. Users will be notified if they like, comment or react to a post that is classified as misinformation that Facebook has previously removed. This new feature will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

To help assist with the spread of misinformation, Facebook is also adding a new section of its Covid-19 Information Center in the U.S. called “Get the Facts,” which will provide fact-checked articles surrounding the virus.

Sticking with social media, worries continue to mount over ad revenue. Despite online website traffic surging, ad revenue is not climbing like investors would have hoped.

Barry Diller, the chairman of the IAC (NASDAQ:IAC), was on CNBC Thursday morning, saying he expects ad revenue to tumble. He pointed out a company like Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) usually spends $5 billion a year, but won’t spend $1 billion this year. That ripple effect can be felt across Facebook, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and virtually any other ad-based platform.

While Expedia may be a cherry-picked example given the global pandemic and its business model, many others have cut back as well.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long GOOGL. 

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