Lending Association

S&P 500 ends near flatline: Alphabet and Microsoft report earnings after the bell

The S&P 500 ended Tuesday near the flatline as Wall Street waits for the latest Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.

The benchmark slipped 0.06 per cent to close at 4,924.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 133.86 points, or 0.35 per cent to end at 38,467.31, marking its seventh record close this year. The Nasdaq Composite pulled back 0.76 per cent to finish at 15,509.90.

Traders will watch for updates out of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting that got underway Tuesday. The fed funds futures market has priced in a 97 per cent probability that the central bank will leave rates unchanged, according to the CME FedWatch tool, so investors are instead left anticipating a shift in the policy statement that will close out the meeting.

General Motors shares popped nearly 8 per cent after the automaker posted better-than-expected earnings. Cybersecurity stock F5 gained just shy of 1 per cent on the back of a better-than-expected financial report, while electronics manufacturer Sanmina soared more than 28 per cent after posting strong earnings per share and current-quarter guidance.

Elsewhere, appliances maker Whirlpool shed 6.6 per cent after sharing a worse-than-expected outlook for the full year. JetBlue fell 4.7 per cent after forecasting little to no revenue growth in 2024, and costs per available seat mile rising in the mid- to high single digits, excluding fuel.

After the bell, Alphabet and Microsoft announced their results.

Alphabet exceeded revenue and profit expectations for the fourth quarter, but its ad revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates, causing the stock to drop over 4 per cent in after-hours trading.

Microsoft’s shares fell 1 per cent in extended trading as the company reported fiscal second-quarter results. The company also saw a 17 per cent year-over-year increase in revenue and increased net income, despite ongoing layoffs and its recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

In commodity-related news, oil prices rose as the IMF increased its growth forecast, citing a resilient US economy and stimulus in China, while the market awaited the U.S. response to a recent drone attack in Jordan. Saudi Aramco announced a halt to its plan to boost oil production, maintaining its capacity at 12 million barrels a day, and will provide further guidance in March when announcing full-year 2023 results.

China’s wind and solar power capacity is projected to exceed that of coal for the first time this year, according to the China Electricity Council. This milestone is significant because it signifies China’s dominance in the global solar power sector, where it now holds more than half of the world’s total solar capacity.

Indonesia, the world’s largest nickel producer, has flooded the global market with low-cost nickel supplies, prompting competitors to close unprofitable mines. This surge in production has raised concerns in Washington and Paris about China gaining more control over this strategic resource, as Indonesia’s market share increased from 16 per cent in 2017 to 55 per cent last year, although it also led to a 43 per cent drop in the global price of nickel over the past year.

Turning to US sectors, Financials and Energy were the top performers. Real Estate was the worst.

Futures

The SPI futures are pointing to a flat start.

Currency

One Australian dollar at 8.50am was buying 66.03 US cents.

Commodities

Gold has gained 0.51 per cent. Silver has gained 0.19 per cent. Copper has gained 0.89 per cent. Oil has added 1.35 per cent.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.44 per cent, Frankfurt rose 0.18 per cent, and Paris closed 0.48 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.11 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.33 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.83 per cent lower.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.29 per cent higher at 7,600.19.

Ex-dividends
Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) is paying 10.17 cents unfranked
Metrics Income (ASX:MOT) is paying 1.66 cents unfranked
Metrics Master (ASX:MXT) is paying 1.55 cents unfranked
Mayfield Group (ASX:MYG) is paying 1 cents fully franked

Dividends payable
PRL Global Ltd PRG)
Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX:CIP)
Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF)
Australian Unity Office Fund (ASX:AOF)
Centuria Office REIT (ASX:COF)
Kelly Partners Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:KPG)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer

The views, opinions or recommendations of the commentators in this presentation are solely those of the author and do not in any way reflect the views, opinions, recommendations, of Sequoia Financial Group Limited ABN 90 091 744 884 and its related bodies corporate (“SEQ”). SEQ makes no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the content. Any prices published are accurate subject to the time of filming and shouldn’t be relied upon to make a financial decision. Commentators may hold positions in stocks mentioned and companies may pay FNN to produce the content at times. The content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian Financial Services Licensee before making investment decisions. To the extent permitted by law, SEQ excludes all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way including by way of negligence.