The stock market closed out a successful week on Friday, with the Dow regaining the 18,000 mark and the S&P 500 posting gains of about half a percent during the week. Yet the final numbers hid considerable volatility related to the first-quarter earnings season, and in particular, technology companies seemed to fare particularly poorly. Oil prices climbed, providing some support to the energy sector, but weakness in other financial markets showed just how conflicted investors appear to be with the current economic situation.
Microsoft (MSFT 1.12%) was one of the poorest performers in the tech sector on the day, but other stocks outside tech posted big declines as well, and Hawaiian Holdings (HA 1.23%) and Tempur-Sealy International (TPX 4.57%) also showed up among the weak players in the market Friday.
Microsoft dropped 7% after reporting fiscal third-quarter earnings that fell short of expectations. The company's transformation into a cloud-computing giant continued, with annualized revenue reaching the $10 billion mark during the quarter. The adoption of Windows 10 has continued strongly, and that has helped other aspects of Microsoft's business, including the Bing search engine and the Office 365 business software package. Yet investors seemed to ignore the long-term progress that CEO Satya Nadella has made in making a transition away from a failing business model, instead focusing on some of the short-term pain the company will inevitably go through. That makes today's drop a potential buying opportunity for those who believe Microsoft is now on the right path.
Hawaiian Holdings slid 11% in the wake of its Thursday afternoon earnings report. Adjusted earnings for the airline doubled from year-ago levels, and pre-tax margins climbed by more than 5 percentage points to 12.6%. Yet the airline's guidance didn't live up to expectations, and Hawaiian believes operating revenue per available seat mile could end up in a range of down 1.5% to up 1.5% for the second quarter. Full-year available seat mile figures are expected to rise 2.5% to 5.5%, but some investors had hoped for even stronger growth given the relatively strong economic situation within the U.S. market. Given how strong the airline industry has been, expectations have been ratcheted up, and Hawaiian's drop today shows the price stocks pay when those expectations aren't met.
Finally, Tempur-Sealy International dropped 6%. The mattress-maker got a downgrade from an analyst company that argued the company might not receive as strong demand for its namesake Tempur-Pedic memory-foam products. The acquisition of Sealy has led the company to launch new mattress products, but competitive pressures and consolidation elsewhere in the industry threaten to make it more difficult for Tempur-Sealy to maintain the positive momentum it has built up. As a result, the analyst cut its price target on the stock by more than 20%, and Tempur-Sealy will have something to prove when it releases its quarterly report next week.