U.S. stocks fell on Thursday following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank is "a long way" from getting interest rates to neutral, signaling that more rate increases are coming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) pulled back from record highs after five straight positive sessions, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) endured a similar percentage decline.
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Tech stocks led the market lower, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLK) dropping 1.8%. But financials largely resisted the negative trend, and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEMKT:XLF) closed up 0.7%.
The repercussions of Facebook's latest data breach
Shares of Facebook fell 2.3% after the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) formally launched an investigation into the social media giant's recent data breach involving hackers gaining access to 50 million accounts.
"The investigation will examine Facebook's compliance with its obligation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and safeguarding of the personal data it processes," the Irish DPC elaborated in a statement today.
Investors are rightly concerned over the financial repercussions of the investigation. If Facebook is found to have violated the GDPR, it could be subject to a fine of as much as 4% of its annual sales, which -- based on its trailing-12-month revenue of nearly $41 billion -- could mean a penalty of over $1.6 billion.
Constellation Brands' post-earnings high
Shares of Constellation Brands jumped 5.4% in the wake of the beer, wine, and spirits giant's strong fiscal second-quarter 2019 results.
Constellation Brands' quarterly revenue climbed 9% year over year to $2.53 billion, helped by an 11% increase in beer sales and 9% growth from wine and spirits. On the bottom line, that translated into GAAP earnings of $1.15 billion, or $5.87 per diluted share, up from $2.49 per share in the same year-ago period.
Investors should note, however, that Constellation's reported earnings include a $639 million unrealized gain related to its investment in Canopy Growth last year. But even adjusted for that item, comparable net income arrived at $562.2 million, or $2.87 per share, up 16% from last year.
Analysts, on average, were only modeling adjusted earnings of $2.60 per share on revenue of $2.26 billion.
"The double digit EPS growth we delivered in the second quarter is top-tier for consumer product companies," CEO Rob Sands said in the release. "Constellation remains the high-end leader and the most significant growth contributor in the U.S. beer market, and we're seeing strong growth trends for the super-premium plus segment of our wine portfolio."
Finally, Constellation Brands increased its full-year outlook to call for reported per-share earnings of $14.10 to $14.25 (up from $10.93 to $11.23 previously), and for comparable earnings of $9.60 to $9.75 (up from $9.40 to $9.70 before).