Stock Market Today: Morgan Stanley’s Blowout; Microsoft Going Green

Stock Market

Another day, another record in the stock market today. On Thursday, we had a trio of record highs, as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY), the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and the PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) all surged once again.

This bull just won’t die — and surprisingly, it’s got many investors frustrated. It’s been an impressive rally, with indices continuing to march higher.

For instance, the S&P 500 is up 16% since the start of the fourth quarter, and has rallied in 13 of the past 15 weeks. That’s abnormal price action, and as frustrating as some are getting, investors must remember the trend that’s in place. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit cautious — raising stops, taking some profits — but until the trend changes, there’s little reason to overthink it.

Earnings Roundup

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) made waves in the stock market today. Earnings of $1.30 per share beat estimates of $1.02 per share, while revenue surged 27% year-over-year to $10.9 billion and beat estimates by more than $1.1 billion. The stock rallied more than 8% at one point and hit new highs on the move. Well deserved.

Moving in the opposite direction was Alcoa (NYSE:AA), which fell almost 12% on disappointing quarterly results. A loss of 31 cents per share missed estimates by 9 cents, while revenue of $2.44 billion missed expectations by $50 million and fell almost 27% year-over-year. Management’s comments for a “surplus” of global aluminum didn’t help matters.

Signet (NYSE:SIG) was one of the biggest movers in the stock market today, and also on our list of top stock trades for Friday. That’s as shares surged more than 40%.

No, it wasn’t a merger or acquisition. Instead, Signet — owner of brands like Jared and Kay — reported a third-quarter loss of 76 cents per share, well ahead of estimates calling for a loss of $1.09 per share. Revenue was roughly flat year-over-year and eked past estimates, but full-year guidance for earnings of $3.44 to $3.52 per share came in well ahead of consensus estimates at $3.11 per share.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) shares erupted higher on Thursday, climbing 15% on reports of a possible sale or spinoff. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have been brought in to help with the process.

Is the run in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) over? Perhaps not yet. Shares fell hard near the open, but closed lower by just 1% after new registrations for Tesla vehicles in California — the company’s bread-and-butter state — fell 46% in the fourth quarter.

Comments from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas didn’t help. He downgraded shares to “underweight” from “neutral,” although he lifted his price target to $360 from $250, stating that, “Near-term momentum and sentiment around the stock is admittedly very strong, but we ultimately question the sustainability of the momentum.”

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is ready to release details on its new streaming device Peacock later today. It will be going against a bevy of platforms such as Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Disney+, which had a robust start to its streaming plans, and AT&T‘s (NYSE:T) HBO, which had a long establishment of viewers before going into streaming. That’s on top of others like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Disney’s Hulu. While Wells Fargo’s analyst believes Peacock will be able to hold its own, only time will tell.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is taking a big stance on committing to climate. It will be launching a $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund used to create technologies that will remove and reduce carbon. It plans to be carbon negative (yes, negative) by 2030 and by 2050 the company will have removed more carbon than it emitted in its lifetime.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long T and DIS. 

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