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S&P, NASDAQ Up Again in Mixed Session

Jim Giaquinto

That was a classic earnings season session with mixed results for the major indices after a deluge of both good and bad reports.

The NASDAQ had the best performance with a gain of 0.81% (or 66 points exactly) to 8185.8. It will be going for a fourth straight week in the green tomorrow.

The S&P chopped around a bit and finished with a slight gain, but the index stayed above 3,000 for a second consecutive day.

The Dow couldn’t get past 3M cutting its full-year forecast, which sent shares lower by 4%. The report feeds into fears of a global downturn impacting the U.S. However, the index came off its lows and lost only 0.11% (or about 28 points) to 26,805.53.

All of the indices are higher for the week heading into Friday’s session.

Microsoft was the big after-the-bell report on Wednesday, and the software giant didn’t disappoint with earnings and revenue beating expectations. Shares gained nearly 2% on Thursday.

Speaking of reports after the close, we saw some heavy hitters today. The biggest name was Amazon, which missed profit expectations and offered a softer-than-expected outlook for the holiday shopping season.

As of this writing, shares of the e-commerce giant are off nearly 7% after hours.    

On the other hand, shares of Intel and Visa are both up at the moment after solid quarterly reports.

Earnings season isn’t blowing the doors off expectations, but it doesn’t have to. Pessimism was so high in the lead up that its been rather easy for companies to impress.

Investors were concerned that we’d see companies across the board lowering their outlooks for the future… but that hasn’t happened.

And now here we are with the possibility of the S&P rising for a third straight week and maybe even making new all-time highs in short order.

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Surprise Trader: The earnings season buying spree continued on Thursday as Dave added Criteo (CRTO), a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) technology company that specializes in performance display advertising. The company has a positive Earnings ESP of 5.48% for the quarter coming before the bell on Tuesday, October 30. The editor also sold the underperforming CoreLogic (CLGX). The full write-up has more on today’s moves. 

Healthcare Innovators: You can bet Kevin is all smiles after a strong third-quarter report from Align Technology (ALGN), which saw earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 12% while revenue soared over 20% year over year. The topline of this medical/dental device company also beat our expectations. Shares of the Invisalign maker soared 14.7% on Thursday, giving this service the best performing stock of the day among all ZU portfolios. By the way, uniQure (QURE) was up 8.3%, which means this portfolio had the first AND third best performers today. 

Insider Trader: "Amazon reported after the bell but missed and issued weak Q4 guidance. A couple of things about Amazon (which I own in my own personal portfolio), it's track record of beating has been horrible over the years because they simply don't care.

"They don't run the business for the earnings report. While they had a streak of beats in a row before missing last quarter, that lulled traders into thinking it was some kind of "beat" machine. It's not.

"But looking at Amazon's actual results, it continues to dominate delivery. It's spending gobs of money on next day delivery. No competitor comes close. In the quarter, it hired over 100,000 employees (!) and now has 750,000 total. It's hard to even imagine that many new workers.

"But because of all the expenses, it's earnings are on the decline."
-- Tracey Ryniec

All the Best,
Jim Giaquinto

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