Zoom Stock Rises Then Falls After Blockbuster Earnings

Zoom Video Communications (ZM) reported its first quarter revenues had jumped 169% versus Q1 2019, resulting in profits of $27m, as its video conferencing app became a focal point for investors in the last three months. The company has been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus pandemic and the stay at home economy, with mass working from home driving demand for its services and sending the firm’s share price soaring more than 200% in 2020 so far. Yesterday, Zoom management also doubled its revenue guidance for the full year, although investors will be watching the firm’s costs closely in the coming quarters. On the company’s earnings call, management revealed that its margins had fallen over the past year, as the cost of adding cloud computing capacity to meet customer demand ate into profits.

Away from the markets, mass protests over police brutality in the US continued to dominate headlines, as the civil unrest entered its eighth day yesterday. Most of the protests are peaceful but violence is escalating, with mass looting, thousands of arrests, and at least five deaths. Investors appear to be largely ignoring the protests so far, but that could change if the mass gatherings lead to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, as the biggest risk currently facing US stocks is a second wave of the virus. 

Energy stocks lead Tuesday rally on back of oil price gains

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were in the green on Tuesday, led by energy stocks, as oil prices made gains. The price of WTI Crude Oil increased more than 2%, closing in on $38 a barrel, while Brent Crude passed $40 a barrel. Occidental Petroleum’s (OXY) share price gained 6.8% after cutting its dividend for the second time in four months on Friday. Among large firms, Occidental remains one of the hardest hit stocks in the energy sector and is now down 64.2% year-to-date. Exxon Mobil (XOM) also made gains yesterday, closing more than 2% higher. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1% on Tuesday, led by chemicals giant Dow Inc (DOW), financial services firm American Express (AXP) and machinery company Caterpillar (CAT), and is now down less than 10% year-to-date. 

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