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Stock Market News Today: Oct. 15, 2019

By Timothy Green - Oct 15, 2019 at 3:28PM

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Roku now supports Apple TV, and Google announces a bunch of new products.

The stock market soared on Tuesday, with the major indices up more than 1% by the afternoon. Earnings reports for the third quarter began in earnest this week, and the results have been generally positive for the companies that have reported so far.

Index Change at 2:30 p.m. EDT
Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.27%) 1.11%
S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.73%) 1.21%
Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 2.09%) 1.42%

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Streaming hardware and platform company Roku (ROKU 3.92%) handily beat the market on Tuesday after it announced support for the Apple (AAPL 2.14%) TV app, while shares of Google parent Alphabet (GOOG 2.36%) (GOOGL 2.39%) jumped following new hardware announcements.

Roku snags Apple TV app

Just a few weeks before Apple launches its Apple TV+ streaming service, Roku has announced that the Apple TV app is now available on its platform. Roku users can now access their iTunes library and subscribe to Apple TV channels via the Apple TV app, and the Apple TV+ service will be available starting on Nov. 1.

Shares of Roku were up 11.4% by 2:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. Roku is by far the most popular streaming hardware platform in the U.S., expected to surpass 50 million devices in use by the end of the year, so it's not too big a surprise that Apple would want its upcoming streaming service available on Roku devices.

The Apple TV+ app.

The Apple TV+ app. Image source: Apple.

While Apple has long followed a walled garden strategy, tightly integrating its hardware, software, and services, it's unlikely that Apple TV+ would succeed if the company didn't support competing streaming platforms.

With Tuesday's rally, Roku stock is well on its way to recovering from a steep sell-off that began about a month ago. Shares peaked just above $175 in early September, dropped just below $100 less than a month later, and have now recovered nearly half of that loss.

While the Apple TV news is a big positive for Roku, the stock's nosebleed valuation remains a major risk for investors. The unprofitable company trades for about 16 times trailing-12-month sales, and around a third of its sales in the most recent quarter came from extremely low-margin hardware. Revenue is growing fast, but it will need to keep growing fast for a long time to justify the current stock price.

Google unveils a slew of devices

Shares of tech giant Alphabet were up modestly on Tuesday after Google announced a lineup of new devices at a hardware event. New Pixel smartphones will go toe to toe with Apple's iPhones; updated Pixel Buds will compete with Apple's AirPods; and a new subscription offering for the company's Nest smart home products will debut next year. Shares of Alphabet were up about 2.4% at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will begin shipping on Oct. 24. The phones sell for $799 and $899, respectively, a bit more expensive than the cheapest iPhone 11 from Apple. An improved Google Assistant, better performance and security, and a significant camera upgrade are the key selling points for Google's new phones.

Google's new Pixel phones will be available from all the major U.S. carriers, a first for the company's flagship devices. The wider availability could help boost sales as the broader smartphone market struggles.

Along with new Nest devices, Google announced a refreshed version of its Nest Aware service that charges one monthly fee per home, regardless of the number of Nest devices. The plans will cost $6 or $12 per month, depending on the level of video history desired.

The company will likely have more to say about its new products and services when it reports its third-quarter results after the market closes on Oct. 28.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, and Roku. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$172.10 (2.14%) $3.61
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL
$121.68 (2.39%) $2.84
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOG
$122.65 (2.36%) $2.83
Roku Stock Quote
Roku
ROKU
$83.81 (3.92%) $3.16
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$33,761.05 (1.27%) $424.38
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,280.15 (1.73%) $72.88
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$13,047.19 (2.09%) $267.27

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

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