The stock market was modestly lower heading into Friday’s close, with small caps taking a beating following a heavy slate of earnings reports.
The Nasdaq composite fell fractionally as some of its major components such as Amazon.com (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) enjoyed post-earnings rallies while others fell on disappointing results. Amazon was well off its Friday intraday high, but still above a 923.82 buy point.
Facebook (FB) jumped nearly 2% to a record high after a Needham analyst raised the price target to 165 from 150, saying Facebook is taking market share in the advertising industry faster than initially thought. The stock started off slowly from a breakout in January but has picked up the pace. It is extended from the January entry and from a pullback to the 50-day moving average made earlier this month.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average each fell 0.2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 lost 1.1%, erasing nearly three days of progress.
Volume was tracking lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq because of the big moves among some of its top components. Chip and some other tech stocks were among the weakest industry groups in today’s trading. Chinese internet company Baidu (BIDU) fell 4% in heavy volume after its earnings report late Thursday. Banks and retailers also underscored the selling.
But cruise lines sailed to 52-week highs after Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) gapped up, adding 6% in big volume. Shares are now extended from a pullback to the 10-week moving average.
Royal Caribbean reported a 74% surge in earnings, beating Wall Street expectations. Sales rose 5% to $2 billion. Strong bookings for Caribbean travel drove most of the outperformance. Strength in Europe helped offset a soft Korea market. The company also announced a stock buyback of $500 million.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) rose nearly 2% as it breaks out past the 52.60 buy point of a flat base. It reports quarterly results May 10. Carnival (CCL) rose 1.1% to a new high in active trading.
Grubhub (GRUB) initially jumped, but was little changed heading into the close. Grubhub surged 23% following strong quarterly results, pushing the meal-delivery app slightly above the 42.35 buy point of double-bottom base. Volume was tracking well above the average.
Align Technology (ALGN) soared 12.5% to a record high after the maker of invisible dental braces beat Q1 earnings expectations and the company gave a sunny outlook. Align forecast second-quarter EPS of 71 to 74 cents a share, better than the consensus estimate of 71 cents. The stock is at a record high, already extended from a 102.10 buy point reached in February.
Merit Medical Systems (MMSI) jumped nearly 9% as it made a decisive move above the 31.80 buy point of a flat base in heavy volume. The medical products manufacturer beat profit estimates. It forecast full-year EPS of $1.15 to $1.23 and revenue of $713 million to $723 million. Analysts had forecast EPS of $1.12.[“Source-investors”]