Stock Market Today: Small-Cap Stocks Are Back; Alphabet Rocks

It was a humdinger in the stock market today. The S&P 500 jumped more than 2.5%, while the Russell 2000 gained more than 5%. We’re hearing crickets from the bears who once boldly critiqued this rally thanks to lagging small-cap stocks.

With Wednesday’s rally, the Russell is now up 42.1% from the lows, outpacing the both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. Those indices have seen rebounds of 34.7% and 34.9% from the March lows, respectively.

That said, the larger indices have retraced more of their losses, with both clearing the 61.8% retracement level. The Nasdaq has retraced about two-thirds of its losses, now down “just” 9% from the highs and 46 basis points on the year. Helping give it a boost in the stock market today is Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).

The stock has been the worst-performing FAANG stock amid the current rebound. But with its 10% rally on Wednesday, Google is doing its best to end that infamous mark.

Revenue of $41.2 billion grew 13.3% year-over-year and beat estimates by almost $1 billion. Earnings missed estimates, but investors were willing to overlook it as digital advertising seems to be holding up. Management said the segment “experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenues.” However, they suggested that business wasn’t getting worse in April. That was apparently all investors needed to hear.

Can Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) deliver tonight and give the Nasdaq an even bigger boost?

Transportation’s Uh-Oh

Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) will cut 17% of its workforce by eliminating 982 jobs. The company will also furlough 288 employees. Executives are receiving a 30% pay cut, vice presidents are taking a 20% cut and all other exempt employees are suffering a 10% decrease in pay. As a result, Lyft plans to take restructuring charges in the ballpark of $28 million to $36 million.

This news comes after reports of Uber (NYSE:UBER) discussing plans to cut 20% of its workforce. That would equal out to roughly 5,400 employees. And in more Uber news, Thuan Pham, the company’s CTO, will be stepping down after seven years. Until a new CTO is found, Uber’s engineering team will take over the duties.

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) shares fell about 20% on liquidity concerns after the company skipped a lease payment. Hertz is currently within a grace period for missing the payment, but talks of a potential bankruptcy are looming over the company.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

The National Football League announced that it will renew its streaming deal with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). This means that not only will Amazon stream NFL’s Thursday Night Football package, but it will also have exclusive TV rights to a late-season Saturday game. While exact terms were not announced, the deal is said to be worth more than their previous deal in 2018, which was worth $130 million.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) almost hit new 52-week highs in the stock market today. The move comes on positive results from its novel coronavirus drug trial. The trial showed at least 50% of patients improved after given a five-day dosage of remdesivir and within two weeks, over half were discharged from the hospital. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, gave his positive thoughts on the trial, stating that the data shows a “clear cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”

Like we saw earlier this month, Gilead’s good news likely gave a boost to the entire market. That’s particularly true with first-quarter GDP coming in at a 4.8% decline. Expectations called for a decline of just 4%.

Loop Capital Markets raised its price target on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to $500, implying 23% upside. The analysts also kept the company at a buy rating due to confidence in subscriber growth. Netflix exceeded its first-quarter subscriber numbers, hitting 15.77 million net added subscribers versus its anticipated 8.5 million. Loop believes the company can continue its momentum for years.

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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