Stock Market Today: Facebook vs. Zoom; AT&T CEO Leaves

Stock Market

After a slow start, bulls got to work in the stock market today. The S&P 500 closed higher by 1.39%, although it still ended the week lower by about 1%.

Investors had to digest quite a few earnings reports this week, but it seemingly pales in comparison to the number of reports scheduled for next week. Among the many, it includes mega-cap tech stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet  (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

Speaking of Facebook, some positive news came out given the world’s current pandemic. It’s reportedly launching Messenger Rooms, which includes free video calls for up to 50 people. That’s different than its current Messenger platform, which only allows eight users at once. The stock hit new highs for the month on the news.

Shares of Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM) hit a new 52-week high on Friday after announcing it hit 300 million global users on Thursday. However, the stock reversed those gains following the Facebook news. Shares closed lower by 6.1%.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is partnering with Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) to make over a billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine. The deal is worth roughly $135 million, according to Emergent. A Phase 1 clinical trial on humans is set for Sept. 1. If successful, the treatment could be ready for emergency use next year.

And good on J&J for this, as the company says it will start production, “at risk and is committed to bringing an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis.”

During next week’s earnings report, Boeing (NYSE:BA) is expected to announce a decrease in production for the 787 Dreamliner. The company plans on cutting down its monthly production to a single-digit output vs. the 14 per month it planned on earlier this year. That will mean more layoffs and lost jobs.

Before the pandemic, Google had hopes of upping its marketing budget. However, the reality is now quite the opposite. The company is reportedly cutting its marketing budget by half, which includes a hiring freeze. Are other companies doing the same thing? We’ll likely find out over the next weeks.

After 13 years, AT&T (NYSE:T) CEO Randall Stephenson will leave his role at the helm on July 1. He will remain on the board as executive chairman until January 2021. Current COO John Stankey will take over as CEO. Stankey also serves as the CEO of Warner Media, which AT&T agreed to acquire in 2016, and reportedly has the support of activist investor Elliott Management.

The first day of the virtual NFL draft was a hit on Thursday. ABC is on top with an average of 6.1 million viewers — a 26% year-over-year increase. While ESPN and NFL Network’s ratings are yet to be seen, ABC beat out its rivals, ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) and Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC. ESPN and ABC are both properties of Disney (NYSE:DIS).

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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