U.S. stocks posted a fifth consecutive session of advances amid more corporate earnings and a potentially market-moving State of the Union Address from President Donald Trump Tuesday evening.
Tech company earnings have continued to be a central focus for investors, with a host of Silicon Valley leaders now having reported quarterly results. The latest was Google-parent Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), whose fourth-quarter results released after-the-bell on Monday beat Wall Street’s expectations on the top and bottom lines. Investors, though, were skittish over rising costs and the specter of digital advertising competition from other internet giants including Amazon (AMZN), sending shares falling during early trading. J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth in a note emphasized concerns of higher spending and shrinking margins Alphabet, and added that “our revenue estimates are generally increasing 2-3% going forward and our operating income is coming down by ~3%, which could keep shares range-bound in the near-term.”
But the pressure on share prices could well be short-lived, some analysts said.
“While shares may trade lower near-term on renewed margin concerns, we believe that significant opportunities remain in cloud, digital video, hardware/devices, and core search, which justify data center and headcount investments,” Baird analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in a note Monday.
Later Tuesday night, Trump will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress at 9 p.m. ET. The speech could impact a host of sectors, as it’s been speculated that Trump may reference drug pricing reform, infrastructure spending and U.S.-China trade policy, as well as provide further details about next steps to achieve his demands for funding for a barrier at the southern border. Trump has previously suggested there was a “good chance” he would declare a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and circumvent Democratic lawmakers, whom have blocked funding for the barrier.
Ahead of the address, Trump met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the White House Monday night. The meeting comes following months of Trump publicly lambasting Powell and the central bank over its path of interest rate hikes, and underscores the administration’s emphasis on the state of the economy prior to the State of the Union Address.
According to an official release following the meeting, Powell reiterated sentiments reflected in his press conference last week following the release of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement and reaffirmed the political independence of the central bank. “He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except the stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what the means for the outlook,” the statement read.
STOCKS: Estée Lauder boosts full-year outlook, reports strength in China
Estée Lauder (EL) raised its full-year earnings guidance in its quarterly results reported Tuesday before market open. The company said it expects to see full-year adjusted earnings of $4.92 to $5 per share, versus a previous band of $4.73 to $4.82. The luxury cosmetic company also beat Wall Street’s expectations on the bottom line for its fiscal second-quarter results, which Estée Lauder said was driven in part by strength in the Asia/Pacific region. The nod to strength in Asia and to “accelerated” prestige beauty growth in China helped quell concerns of weakened discretionary consumer spending in the country amid an economic slowdown.
Media giant Viacom (VIAB) beat Wall Street’s expectations for first-quarter earnings, delivering an adjusted $1.12 per share, ahead of consensus estimates of $1.03. Quarterly sales of $3.1 billion were in-line with estimates. Viacom’s media networks grew domestic affiliate revenue 5% for the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth, and film producer and distributor Paramount Pictures posted double-digit filmed entertainment revenues growth. Viacom said it continues to expect low single-digit growth in domestic affiliate revenues for the full year.
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck
Read more from Emily: