Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly - Updated Apr 24, 2019 at 12:07AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Pfizer reported a strong quarter but gave a tepid outlook, while Verizon had mixed results.

Stocks moved mostly sideways Tuesday as the market looked forward to major technology company earnings and awaited news on trade negotiations with China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI 0.10% ) managed a gain, but the S&P 500 ( ^GSPC 0.31% ) lost some ground.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.21% 51.74
S&P 500 (0.15%) (3.85)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Tech stocks were a drag on the market, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLK 0.46% ) losing 1.1%. Gold continued its rally of recent weeks, and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX 0.48% ) jumped 2.4%. 

As for individual stocks, Pfizer ( PFE -0.62% ) beat expectations for the fourth quarter, but Verizon Communications ( VZ -0.59% ) reported mixed results.

Multiple colorful stock charts laid over one another

Image source: Getty Images.

Cancer drugs help Pfizer's results

Check out the latest Pfizer earnings call transcript.

Shares of Pfizer rose 3.1% after the drugmaker beat estimates for fourth-quarter results but gave muted guidance for the upcoming year. Revenue grew 2% on a reported basis and 5% in constant currency to $14 billion. Adjusted earnings per share jumped 3.2% to $0.64. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.63 on sales of $13.91 billion. Pfizer expects essentially flat revenue in 2019 and full-year EPS of $2.82-$2.92, compared with the consensus estimate of $3.04.

Pfizer is experiencing a number of crosswinds that are producing mixed results, but newly launched drugs are fueling growth. The company's forward-looking innovative health division grew 10% operationally, boosted by a 30% revenue jump in oncology, while essential health, which includes legacy products, had a revenue decline of 3%.

Results in 2019 will be affected by unfavorable currency movements and a low-single-digit decline in worldwide drug prices. But Pfizer is also looking forward to benefits from its consumer healthcare merger with GlaxoSmithKline and up to five new FDA approvals in the year.

Verizon's top-line growth disappoints

Check out the latest Verizon Communications earnings call transcript.

Verizon turned in mixed results for the fourth quarter, beating on profit expectations but missing revenue projections despite strong subscriber additions, and the stock fell 3.3%. Revenue grew 1% to $34.3 billion while retail postpaid connections increased 2.3% after the company posted 1.2 million net additions in the quarter. The top line was also held back by Verizon Media, with revenue at the struggling unit falling 5.8% to $2.1 billion. Adjusted earnings per share grew 30% to $1.12, beating the analyst consensus of $1.09.

The company saw average revenue per retail postpaid account (ARPA) slip 0.5% from the period last year, but in the conference call, CFO Matt Ellis said temporary factors were to blame and that APRA should improve in 2019, as should service revenue.

Verizon is restructuring and investing in 5G technology, upgrading its network, and rolling out its 5G Home router product. Analysts on the call tried to pump Verizon executives for clues to the timing of the 5G rollout, but CEO Hans Vestberg would only say, "We're deploying as fast as we can."

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
PFE
$51.40 (-0.62%) $0.32
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
VZ
$50.49 (-0.59%) $0.30
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$35,754.75 (0.10%) $35.32
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,701.21 (0.31%) $14.46
VanEck Vectors ETF Trust - VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF Stock Quote
VanEck Vectors ETF Trust - VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF
GDX
$31.49 (0.48%) $0.15
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund
XLK
$173.31 (0.46%) $0.79

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
652%
 
S&P 500 Returns
142%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/08/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.