Despite an impressive earnings report from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) after the bell yesterday, the market is nevertheless lower today on fears emanating from Europe and continued uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff. At roughly halfway through the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down by 62 points, or 0.48%.
People took to the streets across Europe today in a coordinated strike against austerity measures. The move comes a day after the Continent's financial ministers met in Brussels to decide whether or not to release the next tranche of financial support to Greece. Union members in Spain, Portugal, and Greece called for their respective governments to pursue programs geared toward economic growth as opposed to spending cuts on things like health care and education.
With respect to corporate news, after the market closed yesterday, Cisco Systems surprised the market with better-than-expected results. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.48 on revenue of $11.9 billion. Analysts had predicted earnings to come in at $0.46 a share on revenue of $11.78 billion.
According to Cisco's CEO John Chambers: "We delivered record results this quarter -- with revenue growth of 6 percent and strong earnings-per-share growth -- demonstrating our vision and strategy are working. Our innovation engine, operational discipline and on-going evolution are enabling us to differentiate in the market."
Shares in the technology giant are up by 6.7% in intraday trading.
Also in the tech space, shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are surprisingly higher this morning by nearly 8%. It's surprising because a lockup on the social media company's shares expires tomorrow, increasing its outstanding float considerably. Two previous lockup expirations both sent shares tumbling. Today's performance is leading some to make comparisons to Yelp (NYSE:YELP), which saw a similar uptick in its share price following a lockup expiration as well.
Finally, shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD) are leading the Dow lower today. The home improvement retailer was the best-performing stock on the index yesterday after reporting earnings for the recently concluded quarter. It benefited from an uptick in the housing market as well as stockpiling of supplies by consumers in the lead-up to Hurricane Sandy.