Summary: The S&P 500 closed at a record with stocks lifted by earnings; Facebook tops forecasts after the close, AT&T sales and profits disappoint, TripAdvisor hurt by higher costs. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Facebook continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Monthly mobile active users surged 31 percent to 1.07 billion - that helped drive mobile ad revenue to 62 percent of better-than-expected total sales. Earnings excluding items - also better than hoped. Revenues at AT&T, however, came in lighter than the consensus. The wireless carrier signed on and held on to more customers, but a change in billing means customers paid less. TripAdvisor is spending more in an effort to stand out from the online travel competition - higher spending led to lower-than-anticipated profits. A number of corporate giants outside of tech released results earlier in the day: Boeing flew past profit forecasts and it lifted guidance for the year. Strong commercial jet sales is pulling in the dough. But total revenues missed estimates for the first time in six quarters. That miss, due to weak defense sales put pressure on the stock. Delta is seeing fuller planes- even at higher ticket prices in the United States and Europe. Profits beat expectations, but sales did not due to weakness in Asia and Latin America. Investors, however, pushed the stock higher to its second highest close of the month. Beverage and snacks company Pepsi boosting its outlook for the year with quarterly sales bigger than anticipated. Profits were down though, but still came in ahead of forecasts due in part to price hikes in its snacks segment. Just like rival Coca-Cola, soda sales are being hurt by changing consumer tastes in North America. Shares of Pepsi - touching an all-time high above 91 bucks. Earnings, however, not able to give the market a major boost. Risk averse investors kept an eye on Ukraine where two fighter jets were shot down by pro-Russian rebels. The Dow, finished lower but the S&P 500 squeezed out a record and the Nasdaq rallied as well. Investors were nervous in Europe as well - with stocks in Germany, France and the U.K. - little changed. One final thing to note, The U.S. economy is expected to grow even slower than thought just a month ago, according to a new outlook from the International Monetary Fund. The reason: the economy has a long way to dig out of the deep economic hole it fell in during the first quarter.