Friday morning brought choppy trade to Wall Street, even as the White House made good on its comments earlier in the week suggesting that a deal between the U.S. and China on trade was in the works. Details of the early-stage agreement weren't yet fully available, but they likely include canceling new tariffs that were set to take effect Sunday as well as other deescalation of trade tensions. Just before 11 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 15 points to 28,117. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell 3 points to 3,165, but the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) picked up 4 points to 8,721.
Two more big companies gave their latest views on their performance over the past quarter. Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) saw its stock fall despite posting solid numbers, and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) shares also suffered modest losses as investors sought guidance about what the future might bring for the cloud giant.
Costco keeps growing
Shares of Costco Wholesale fell about 2% after the retail giant reported its fiscal-first-quarter financial results. Costco managed to sustain growth, but not everyone was happy with the pace of its gains.
Costco reported a 5.6% rise in revenue during the quarter, with a 5% gain in comparable sales on an adjusted basis. Net income rose 10% year over year.
However, there were a couple of troubling signs. First, e-commerce comps growth came in extremely weak, with the 5.7% rise in adjusted comps representing a huge slowdown from double-digit percentage increases in recent quarters. In addition, Costco said that the later Thanksgiving holiday cost it about half a percentage point of growth on its top line.
The move lower for Costco stock most likely represents just a normal pullback after a huge year. Shares of the warehouse retailer are up more than 40% so far in 2019, even after today's decline. Even as shareholders adjust their expectations, Costco can count on finding ways to bolster its growth and get itself back into shape as 2020 approaches.
Reply hazy, try again
Shares of Oracle lost 3% Friday morning following the release of its fiscal-second-quarter financial results. The cloud specialist said that revenue inched higher by 1% but adjusted earnings managed to post a 12% gain year over year.
Oracle tried to highlight its areas of fastest growth. The Fusion enterprise resource planning cloud platform saw revenue jump 37%, and sales from Oracle's autonomous database cloud product more than doubled from year-earlier levels. The NetSuite applications business also produced year-over-year gains of almost 30%.
CEO Safra Catz was pleased. "This consistent rapid growth in the now-multibillion-dollar ERP segment of our cloud applications business," Catz said, "has enabled Oracle to deliver a double-digit EPS growth rate year after year. I fully expect we will do that again this year."
Oracle's stock has been treading water over the past few months as investors tried to assess its long-term competitive prospects in the crowded cloud market. To succeed, Oracle will have to translate the strength of some of its divisions into broader growth across the company.