The markets finish the week with a bang as weak GDP numbers fueled the rally. Why is this a good thing? Well, the market is expecting anywhere from 2 to 4 rate hikes this year from the Fed which many fear would slow the pace of economic growth. With GDP numbers coming in weaker than expected this leads Wall street to believe that the fed will slow the rate hike process. With this in mind today all the markets were positive. The Nasdaq led the way gaining 85 points (2.08%) despite weakness in Amazon. The S&P 500 posted a 35 point gain (1.99%) and the Dow gained 293 (1.83%) Shares of Amazon (AMZN ) plummeted today after releasing an earnings report that was well short of Wall street's expectations. Earnings per share (EPS) was actually up over 100% versus last year, and sales were up 22%. Unfortunately Wall street analysts were looking for much better performance from the online retail giant. The CEO, Jeff Bezos tried to explain off the miss by stating that "Customers will always come before profits" and that "2015 was the first year the company passed$100 billion in sales". Investors didn't care and Amazon plummeted 50 points (-7.88%).
Xerox Inc. (XRX ) announced today that the board has unanimously voted to split the company into two independently traded, public companies. This transaction will create an $11 billion Document company and roughly a $7 billion outsourcing company. This is seen as a huge win for activist investor Carl Ichan, as he has a 7% stake in the company and has been pushing for this split to happen since November. Shares of XRX closed up 6.50%.
Microsoft (MSFT ) popped 5.44% today as investors were thrilled with their earnings release. Unlike Amazon, the company easily beat the streets expecations and stated that it was all because of their "rapidly growing cloud computing business". Microsoft was able to earn 78 cents a share which beat the street by 7 cents. Sales did slip a little but investors were able to overlook that based on the recent growth.