Markets

Stock Market Today: Stocks Slip on Blue-Chip Earnings Reports

3M (MMM) and McDonald's (MCD) were among a number of high-profile stocks that helped the market lower on an earnings-stuffed Tuesday.

A loaded second-quarter earnings calendar flooded investors with fresh information about a host of blue chips on Tuesday.

3M (MMM, -4.9%) dropped after demand for its N95 facemasks wasn't enough to counter constrained demand elsewhere, leading to a 12% decline in revenues.

"The financial impact of the pandemic remained mixed across 3M during Q2," CEO Michael Roman said on the earnings conference call. "We continue to see strong demand in personal safety along with other areas, such as home improvement, general cleaning, and biopharma filtration.

"At the same time, we experienced steep but expected declines in other end markets, including medical and dental elective procedures, automotive OEM and aftermarket, and general industrial."

McDonald's (MCD, -2.6%) reported a 30% year-over-year plunge in sales, and earnings of 66 cents per share fell below analyst expectations. But Stifel analyst Chris O'Cull (Neutral) raised his price target from $182 per share to $195 on better-than-expected U.S. restaurant margins and expectations for improving same-restaurant sales.

Pfizer (PFE, +4.0%) also reported lower sales, off 11%, but adjusted profits of 78 cents per share handily beat expectations.

Kodak (KODK, +203.1%) set off some non-earnings fireworks Tuesday, more than tripling in price after it announced it has scored a $765 million government loan under the Defense Production Act that will see the diminished photography name produce "starter materials" and "active pharmaceutical ingredients" for generic medicines.

The broader indices didn't move nearly so sharply, but an afternoon selloff sent the Dow 0.8% lower to 26,379. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to 3,218, the Nasdaq dipped 1.3% to 10,402, and the Russell 2000 declined 1.0% to 1,469.

Gold's 2020 rally continued, however, with August gold futures climbing 0.7% to $1,944.60 per ounce, yet another record settlement.

Can High-Growth Cloud Stocks Keep Rising?

We're sure your nose will be buried in corporate earnings for the next few weeks, but try to keep at least one eye on "the cloud."

Cloud computing, which effectively allows consumers and businesses alike to run powerful software and store virtually limitless information without having to house all the necessary hardware, has been growing like a weed for years, and many of the newer companies that have exploded in 2020 will be updating investors on their expansion stories.

Indeed, a recent Gartner report says the global public cloud services market is expected to grow 6.3% this year to $257.9 billion while many other industries contract. That's because the cloud has been able to address a number of needs that arose as a result of worldwide stay-at-home measures.

"When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were a few initial hiccups but cloud ultimately delivered exactly what it was supposed to," says Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. "It responded to increased demand and catered to customers' preference of elastic, pay-as-you-go consumption models."

The cloud is seemingly everywhere on Wall Street nowadays – if you've taken an interest in e-commerce stocks, work-from-home plays or artificial intelligence funds, you've come across some connection to the cloud.

But these 10 cloud stocks are the embodiment of just how far the technology has come … and if the pros are right, they'll continue producing robust returns for growth-oriented investors.

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