Wall Street recovers from early lows on Microsoft boost By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks shook off early declines and the and Nasdaq inched to fresh intraday highs on Friday as gains in Microsoft (NASDAQ:) helped offset declines in Amazon and Apple after disappointing quarterly earnings from the online retailer and iPhone maker.

Microsoft’s shares touched a record high and neared a market capitalization of $2.5 trillion, surpassing Apple Inc (NASDAQ:)’s market cap of roughly $2.46 trillion.

Apple dropped 2.2% after it warned the impact of supply-chain disruptions will be even worse during the current holiday sales quarter, while Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) lost 2.8% as it forecast downbeat holiday-quarter sales amid labor shortages.

“The market hasn’t overly rewarded companies that have beat expectations that have come in screamingly positive, but it has punished misses,” said Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi.

“That tells me we are sort of shifting into this period where we have fundamentals starting to run the show again and that is a healthy place to be.”

The fell 7.78 points, or 0.02%, to 35,722.7, the S&P 500 lost 3.15 points, or 0.07%, to 4,593.27 and the dropped 8.24 points, or 0.05%, to 15,439.88.

The S&P 500 had fallen as much as 0.65% earlier in the day.

Apple had risen about 2.5% while Amazon gained 1.6% in Thursday’s session, helping to send the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to closing record highs.

With 279 companies in the S&P 500 having reported results through Friday morning, 82.1% have topped earnings expectations, according to Refinitiv data. The current year-over-year earnings growth rate for the third quarter is 39.2%.

Market participants have been closely attuned to the ability of companies to maneuver through labor shortages, rising price pressures and clogs in the supply chain, and a solid earnings season has helped investors overlook a mixed macroeconomic picture with a Federal Reserve that is poised to begin to trim its massive bond purchases soon.

The central bank’s next policy announcement is on Nov. 3.

Data showed U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in September, while inflation pressures are broadening.

The data indicated the jury is still out on whether the Fed’s “transitory” view on inflation will hold true.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:) gained 4.2% as the U.S. drugmaker raised its 2021 adjusted profit forecast for the third time this year.

Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:) tumbled 7.4% after the coffee chain said it expects fiscal 2022 operating margin to be below its long-term target due to inflation and investments.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.14-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 46 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 65 new lows.

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