Despite spending the entirety of the session in the red, the broader market sprung to life in the final moments on Friday to end higher across the board. The leader, as it were, was the Nasdaq Composite which added 9.80 points (+0.17%) to 5845.31. The S&P 500 was up 3.53 points (+0.15%) to 2367.34, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average put up gains of 11.44 points (+0.05%) to 20821.76. These moves took the three major US indices to gains of +8.6%, +5.7% and +5.3% YTD, respectively.
Today's economic data included the New Home Sales report, which for January hit an annualized rate of 555,000, which was above the revised December rate of 535,000 (from 536,000). Additionally, the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February rose to 96.3 from 95.7 in the preliminary reading.
Despite spending the majority of the session below flat lines, the Technology (XLK 52.63, +0.12 +0.23%) sector, along with a handful of other S&P sectors, jolted higher in the final few moments of trading. Component Intuit (INTU 128.01, +7.31 +6.06%) was the best performer after reporting strong Q2 earnings and guiding Q3 better than expected despite what the company stated was a 'slow' start to the tax season. Other sectors as measured by the S&P closed XLU +1.52%, XLRE +0.50%, XLV +0.50%, XLY +0.46%, XLI +0.43%, XLP +0.34%, XLB +0.21%, XLF -0.77%, XLE -0.98%, IYZ -1.31%.
In the S&P 500 Information Technology (888.27, +1.75 +0.20%) space, trading turned higher following a session of mostly underperforming action. By contrast, component Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE 22.96, -1.70 -6.89%) was pressured all day following its mixed Q1 report and worse than expected Q2 earnings guidance. Other names in the space which closed higher with the sector today included PAYX +2.32%, FSLR +1.91%, EBAY +1.37%, ADP +1.34%, PYPL +1.27%, WU +1.26%, FISV +1.22%, GLW +1.19%, CA +1.18%, HRS +1.15%, MSI +1.15%.
Other notable news items among sector components:
- Alphabet's (GOOG 828.64, -2.69 -0.32%) Waymo confirmed a lawsuit against Otto and Uber (pending: UBER).
- In addition to reporting earnings, Universal Display (OLED 81.00, +13.55 +20.09%) initiated a dividend program with a $0.03 per share quarterly dividend.
- Toshiba (TOSBF 1.98, +0.03 +1.96%) reported notice on conclusion of absorption-type company split agreement in respect of the memory business.
- Vuzix (VUZI 6.30, +0.85 +15.60%) signed an agreement to build a customized pair of smart glasses for Toshiba (TOSBF).
- Telephone & Data (TDS 29.87, -2.85 -8.74%) increased its quarterly dividend to $0.155from $0.148 per share.
- MagnaChip Semiconductor's (MX 7.60, +0.35 +4.83%) Board of Directors approved a headcount reduction plan. The Plan is expected to result in estimated annual cost savings of $20 million to $27 million, depending upon the final size of the workforce reduction.
- SoftBank (SFTBY 37.95, -0.27 -0.71%), Sprint (S 8.94, -0.02 -0.22%) and TBCASoft, Inc. agreed to aim for a technology partnership jointly developing blockchain technology for telecommunication carriers.
In reaction to quarterly results:
- Baidu.com (BIDU 175.17, -9.47 -5.13%) reported Q4 EPS of $0.93 on worse than expected revenues of $2.62 billion. For Q1, the company guided revenues in the range of $2.374-2.453 billion.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) reported better than expected Q1 EPS of $0.45 on worse than expected revenues of $11.41 billion. The company also guided Q2 EPS worse than expected at $0.41-0.45, and lowered FY17 EPS guidance to $1.88-1.98 from $2.00-2.10.
- Intuit (INTU) reported better than expected Q2 EPS of $0.26 on revenues which rose about 10.1% compared to last year to $1.02 billion. For Q3, INTU sees better than expected EPS and revenues of $3.85-3.90 and $2.50-2.55 billion, respectively. For FY17, INTU reaffirmed guidance of EPS between $4.30-4.40 and revenues in the range of $5.00-5.10 billion.
- Splunk (SPLK 62.80, -2.10 -3.24%) reported better than expected Q4 EPS and revenues of $0.25 and $306.5 million, respectively. For Q1, SPLK sees revenues between $231-233 million.
- Universal Display (OLED) reported better than expected Q4 EPS and revenues of $0.55 and $74.6 million, respectively. For FY17, the company sees in-line revenues between $230-250 million.
- Telephone & Data (TDS) reported a better than expected Q4 loss per share of $0.05 on worse than expected revenues of $1.28 billion. The company also guided FY17 revenues worse than expected between $5.015-5.265 billion.
- GlobalStar (GSAT 1.39, +0.03 +2.57%) reported a worse than expected Q4 loss per share of $0.11 on better than expected revenues of $24.4 million.
- Companies scheduled to report quarterly results Monday morning: GOGO, JKS
- INTU was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, GSAT was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Chardan Capital Markets, WDAY was upgraded to Positive from Mixed at OTR Global, CYOU was upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley, CLGX was upgraded to Buy from Hold at SunTrust; HPE was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital and to Hold from Buy at Needham, YY was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, TDS was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton; SQ was initiated with a Positive at Susquehanna, MYAN was initiated with a Buy at Maxim GRoup