Stocks opened higher today as corporate earnings season went into full swing.
Jobless claims were lower than expected, coming in at 281,000, less than than the Briefing.com forecast of 283,000. The U.S. stock markets piggy-backed on the rising European markets, where investors seemed to be glad that the Greek parliament voted in favor of austerity and a bridge loan is being pulled together.
Ebay was trading up over 4 percent to roughly $66.15 after the online auction house beat its earnings estimates, but missed on the revenue side. Ebay delivered second quarter earnings of 76 cents per share, when analysts only expected 72 cents, but revenue came in at $4.4 billion, a little light of the expected $4.49 billion. The company is spinning off its transaction arm PayPal and the two will begin trading separately on July 20. Ebay will also sell the Enterprise unit to private equity firm Permira for $925 million. Ebay Enterprise includes Magento Commerce Technologies, eBay Marketing Solutions and Enterprise Services and Operations.
Netflix popped up over 12 percent to trade at approximately $109.85 after beating analyst’s earnings estimates for the second quarter and accelerating subscriber growth. Netflix also said it was having a great unexpected success with programming from Latin America that it shows in North America. Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said shows that were successful in Mexico were now drawing huge numbers in the U.S. On August 28, Netflix will begin airing “Narcos,” a show shot in Colombia about the cocaine trade. All of this original programming is costing the company a bundle. Free cash flow was a negative $229 million compared to a negative $163 million in the first quarter; the company now has $2.4 billion in gross debt.
The jury is out on whether Amazon’s big sale called Prime Day was a success or not. Social media decided it wasn’t and ridiculed the choice of items for sale. Amazon, though, may have had the last laugh. The e-commerce giant said that peak order rates for the day surpassed Black Friday and proclaimed it a categorical success. Shares of the company were gaining momentum in early trading, up 0.9 percent to $465.41.
The National Retail Federation has asked for legislation that would require the Transportation Department to track port statistics. The legislation was in response to the slowdowns at the West Coast ports that happened when contract talks between the union workers and the port stalled this year. Backed-up cargo wasn’t delivered until May and retailers have had to deal with late arriving merchandise.
Looking ahead, Google reports its earnings after the market closes today. The company has been moving higher lately, as some analysts began upgrading the stock and raising target prices.