Facebook surge leads tech megacaps higher, but Alphabet stumbles

Google Sundar Pichai

The latest earnings reports from Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook suggest that Big Tech is only getting bigger.

FB shares surged 8% higher. Even the pandemic - or perhaps thanks to it - and constant legal troubles couldn't stop this social media giant (read "social promo giant") from growing. Its DAU number increased to 1.79 billion, up 12% from June 2019. Amazon stock was up by as much as 6% in after-hours trading. Powered by stay-at-home consumption, America's biggest e-commerce platform posted striking sales results and beat analysts' forecasts in both revenue and earnings. The company increased revenue in the second quarter by 11 percent to $ 59.69 billion, well above the analyst estimate of $ 52.25 billion.

The results drove at least 27 Wall Street analysts to rethink their price targets of the giant, as reported by MarketWatch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent to 26,345.83, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 per cent to 3,255.84. Compare that, and today's level, to the early January value of near $1,900 per share.

iPhone sales were USD26.4 billion, iPad revenue was USD6.6 billion while Mac revenue reached USD7.1 billion.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 slumped 2.82% on the session to push the benchmark into negative territory for the month, driven by last night's declines on Wall Street and a stronger yen, while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, slipped 0.31% into the final hours of trading.

"In uncertain times, this performance is a testament to the important role our products play in our customers' lives and to Apple's relentless innovation", chief executive Tim Cook said.

Apple is planning a 4-for-1 share split at the end of August that will keep its per-share price lower.

Tech giants Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook all reported better-than-expected results after the market closed yesterday, validating surging valuations built on expectations the sector would be a big victor amid the pandemic upheaval.

Revenues dipped two percent to 38 billion USA dollars, as chief financial officer Ruth Porat said: "We continue to navigate through a hard global economic environment". Earlier this week, Alphabet kickstarted a share buyback plan of up to $28 billion.

However, Thursday's grim second quarter GDP reading, which showed an annualized contraction of 32.9% - the steepest since records began - as well as an uptick in weekly jobless claims, were powerful reminders for investors that any domestic recovery will be predicated on taming the spread of the cornavirus, which has infected 4.6 million Americans and killed at least 154,000.



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