Tech drags US markets; Europe gains | Calamatta Cuschieri

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Thursday, weighed down by sharp losses in technology shares whilst European markets closed higher after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and affirmed its plan to end its monthly bond-buying program in December.

US markets fall on Facebook hit and Google takes the spotlight on sales growth
US markets fall on Facebook hit and Google takes the spotlight on sales growth

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Thursday, weighed down by sharp losses in technology shares as Facebook posted its biggest one-day drop ever following disappointing quarterly results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average however bucked the trend, rising 112.97 points, or 0.4%, to 25,527.07 as the blue-chip average doesn’t count the Social Media Giant among its 30 components. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.01% sank 80.05 points to 7,852.18, a decline of 1% from a record close on Wednesday.

European markets closed higher after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and affirmed its plan to end its monthly bond-buying program in December. Gains were led by German stocks with the DAX leaping 1.8% to finish at 12,908.23 as investors rushed into the auto-industry on news that Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker both agreed to work towards zero trade tariffs. France’s CAC 40 index rose 1% to close at 5,480.55, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index edged up by less than 0.1% to end at 7,663.17.

Facebook hit by disappointing results

Shares in Facebook Inc. plunged as much as 20 percent Thursday after months of scandal and criticism finally hit the company’s growth. Executives told Wall Street the numbers won’t get any better this year. Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said revenue growth rates would decline in the third and fourth quarters. Before the results, Facebook had 44 buy ratings, two sells and two holds. A few analysts tempered their outlook Thursday.

The social-media goliath’s financial performance had previously seemed immune to fierce critiques of its content policies, its failure to safeguard private data, and its changing rules for advertisers. But on Wednesday Facebook reported sales and user growth numbers for the second quarter that fell short of analysts’ projections, leaving investors reeling.

Google jumps on positive results

Google, on the other hand, saw shares jump as much as 6.1 percent as their parent company Alphabet Inc. reported second-quarter sales, minus partner payouts, of $26.24 billion during the second quarter with analysts expecting revenue of $25.55 billion. Google’s advertising business grew 24 percent. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said most of that came from mobile and automated ads.

Investors are also looking for signs of growth beyond advertising, such as Google’s cloud-computing business. The company’s other revenue bucket, which includes cloud, hardware and app sales, grew 37 percent to $4.4 billion in the second quarter. Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai mentioned new cloud customers including Domino’s Pizza Inc., SoundCloud Ltd. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, during the call with analysts.

Disclaimer: This article was issued by Peter Petrov, junior trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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