Major benchmarks were mixed on Friday as the United States and China appeared to make continued progress toward a trade deal. After President Trump agreed on Thursday to a two-week delay in tariff increases on imported Chinese products planned for next month, Chinese authorities responded by adding their own tariff exemptions on certain U.S. agricultural imports, including pork and soybeans.
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As for individual stocks, Square (NYSE:SQ) rose after a report that it may launch a new zero-commission stock-trading feature, and Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) dropped after posting mixed quarterly results.
Broadcom's demand headwinds
Shares of Broadcom dropped 3.4% today after the semiconductor and infrastructure software specialist announced its fiscal third-quarter revenue climbed 9% year over year to $5.52 billion, translating to adjusted net income from continuing operations of $2.28 billion, or $5.16 per share (down from $5.21 per share a year ago).
Analysts on average were expecting lower earnings of $5.13 per share, but on revenue closer to $5.54 billion.
CEO Hock Tan noted that the company's broad portfolio of products helped sustain top-line growth and "robust cash flow despite a challenging market backdrop."
But he added that, within Broadcom's semiconductor solutions business, they "believe demand has bottomed out but will continue to remain at these levels due to the current uncertain environment."
As such, Broadcom continues to expect full fiscal-year revenue of $22.5 billion, leaving Wall Street disappointed considering consensus estimates stood around $100 million higher going into the report.
Square mulls the stock-trading market
Meanwhile, shares of Square jumped as much as 2% -- albeit after falling as much as 3% this morning -- before tempering its gains to close up around 0.9% after Bloomberg reported that the mobile payment solutions company recently began testing a free stock-trading service as part of its popular Cash app.
Considering the Cash app already boasts millions of users and generated nearly $260 million in revenue last quarter alone -- $125 million of which came from its bitcoin-trading feature -- the move could quickly make Square a contender in the lucrative stock-trading market akin to the no-fee trading platform Robinhood, which commanded a valuation of $7.6 billion in July. Robinhood, for its part, generates much of its revenue from a combination of interest on customers' idle cash balances and so-called "payment for order flow" transactions from high-frequency trading firms.
The report cautioned that Square hasn't set a launch date for the potential new service. But it's hardly surprising to see shares climbing in response today.