The stock market gained ground on Wednesday morning, bouncing back from two days of severe losses. Investors pointed to efforts in Congress to bring forward another round of economic stimulus to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns seen across the globe. Oil prices also regained some lost ground, even though June futures contracts only managed to climb just above the $15-per-barrel mark. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 341 points to 23,359. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) rose 47 points to 2,783, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) picked up 171 points to 8,434.
Two key companies that investors saw benefiting from the COVID-19 lockdowns released their earnings late Tuesday afternoon, but only one of them resulted in the pop in the stock that shareholders were hoping for. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) proved unable to give investors everything they'd expected in its quarterly report, but Snap (NYSE:SNAP) saw a huge move higher that reflected greater use of the social media platform during the pandemic.
Netflix sees solid growth
Shares of Netflix were down 1.5% Wednesday morning as investors digested the video-streaming giant's quarterly report. Although the company did see positive impacts from more people staying at home, it didn't bring further share-price gains from what shareholders have already seen recently.
Netflix posted an impressive increase in the number of subscribers using its service, climbing by 15.77 million in just the past three months to 182.86 million. That's higher by nearly 23% from year-ago levels, and it helped to bolster revenue by 28% year over year and led to net income more than doubling from Q1 2019.
However, Netflix did note it experienced some negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the strong dollar has reduced the value of the rising amount of international revenue the company is bringing in, costing it $115 million in sales in the first quarter. Also, Netflix's production shutdown will result in some delays of title releases, albeit with some temporary cost savings.
Some investors were also disappointed at Netflix's reining in of expectations for the second quarter, with the company anticipating just 7.5 million new subscribers in the coming months. Nevertheless, earnings projections of $1.81 per share would be more than triple what Netflix earned in Q2 2019, and that's respectable growth in any environment.
Snap bounces higher
Yet the real winner from the lockdown for the day was Snap. Shares of the Snapchat operator jumped 27% following the release its quarterly report Tuesday afternoon.
The news reflected greater usage by those staying at home. Snap saw daily active users jump 20% to 229 million, which in turn boosted revenue by 44% year over year. The social media specialist continued to lose money, but operating cash flow went positive.
Snap has worked hard to make its platform more desirable, and investments in its Discover content have paid off. Original Snap content has gotten a receptive audience, and moves to build engagement with augmented reality while also strengthening its advertising platform have paid off.
Shareholders were happy with the report despite warnings that growth for Snap will likely flatten in the coming months. With favorable impressions of its longer-term prospects, however, Snap inspired investors to have greater confidence in the growth stock and its ability to weather the coronavirus storm.