Markets Bid Up from Session Lows; ZM, HPQ Beat Earnings

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Market indexes raced northward in the final minutes of regular trading today, with mixed results on either side of within 1%. The Dow, which had been -589 points at its intraday low, came in -179 points or -0.53%. Big banks with Russian exposure — Goldman Sachs GS and JPMorgan JPM — helped lead the index down. The S&P 500 came in -0.26% on the day. Both indexes finished lower for the first regular session in the past three.
The Nasdaq, on the other hand, gained +0.41% after wallowing in the red a little more than an hour before the close. The small-cap Russell 2000 was up +0.35% on the day. Both indexes are up for a third-straight day, although all four major indexes close its second month in a row in the red.
Treasury yields dropped, and the 10-year and 2-year track slightly closer together today — 1.83% and 1.45%, respectively. Russian banks being taken off the SWIFT program looks to be the biggest instigator in shakiness regarding financials; mostly, we see uncertainty planting the flag today — there doesn’t seem to be a lot of clarity where things go from here. Much of it rests on what Russian leader Vladimir Putin decides to do as his invasion of Ukraine brings the impact of world sanctions against his country.
Energy was the only sector to gain today, and clearly we’ve seen strength in oil & gas going back prior to the Ukraine invasion. But solar power companies also posted strong gains, as alternative sources of energy not only look increasingly viable these days, but increasingly necessary. Environmentalists have been sounding this horn for decades, of course; now geopolitical experts are weighing in on it, as well.
Zoom Video ZM beat estimates on both top and bottom lines in its Q4 report: earnings of $1.29 per share on sales of $1.07 billion outpaced the $1.07 per share and $1.05 billion, respectively. Yet earnings guidance for Q1 is a big pullback to 86-88 cents ($1.03 per share had been the Zacks consensus), with downgrades in revenue and full-year guidance, as well. Zoom shares dropped as much as -11% in late trading; the stock is already down -28% year to date and -67.6% from a year ago.
Zoom did announce a $1 billion share buyback program, which certainly the company expects to stem the tide of selling. In fact, the late-session selling has abated notably: ZM shares are now -4.5% after hours. The company has never missed an earnings estimate going back to the company’s 2019 IPO.
Hewlett-Packard HPQ also reported earnings after the closing bell this Monday: earnings of $1.10 per share beat the $1.04 estimate in the company’s fiscal Q1, as revenues of $17.03 billion swept past expectations for $16.76 billion. Its PCs business outperformed expectations — $12.2 billion versus $11.6 billion anticipated — while its printing business lagged somewhat. Shares are relatively flat on the news after jumping initially. Shares are down -9.6% year to date but +16% from a year ago.
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