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Stock market today: S&P 500, Nasdaq notch big gains as Tesla kicks off 'Magnificent 7' earnings

US stocks secured gains across the board on Tuesday, as tech-focused investors prepared for a fresh wave of earnings highlighted by struggling Tesla (TSLA).

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the trading day, surging about 1.6%. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 1.2% after staging a comeback from a six-day run of losses on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed roughly 0.7%.

Tesla rose as much as 8% in after-hours trading after the company suggested its future vehicle lineup would include more affordable models. The update comes as the electric vehicle giant missed earnings expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Gross margins came in above estimates of 16.5% to hit 17.4% in the quarter.

Tesla's earnings will likely be a catalyst for the S&P 500, given the stock's weight in the index. Shares have been hit hard after a disappointing delivery outlook, the cancellation of plans for a long-awaited sub-$30,000 model, and a strategy switch to robotaxis, among other headwinds.

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As the first "Magnificent Seven" to report, Tesla sets the stage for highly anticipated results from Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOG) later in the week, though some suspect the megacaps' momentum is fading.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER13 updates
  • Tesla shares jump on updated future vehicle lineup

    Tesla rose as much as 8% in after-hours trading after the company updated its future vehicle lineup to include more affordable models.

    "We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025," Tesla said in its first quarter letter to shareholders.

    "These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms, and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up."

    The update comes as the automaker missed first quarter earnings expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Gross margins came in above estimates of 16.5% to hit 17.4% in the quarter, while operating profit of $1.2 billion missed expectations of $1.49 billion.

    Read more here.

  • Stocks secure solid gains ahead of Tesla earnings

    US stocks closed higher as investors await Big Tech earnings, with Tesla on deck after the close.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the trading day, surging about 1.6%. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 1.2% after staging a comeback from a six-day run of losses the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed roughly 0.7%.

  • Tesla results come amid heightened investor scrutiny around earnings

    Earnings season rolls on with a crucial report for Tesla (TSLA) slated for after the bell on Tuesday.

    And beyond what the electric vehicle maker says about low-cost cars, self-driving cars, or maybe even flying cars, investors in the broader market will be tracking how the stock reacts in the day following its earnings release.

    After reports from 80 S&P 500 companies headed into Tuesday's trading day, stocks have seen a worse reaction than normal to earnings releases this quarter. Stocks that top Wall Street's estimates have risen 0.6% in the next trading session, lower than the 0.9% average seen over the last few years, per research by Julian Emanuel, who leads Evercore ISI's equity, derivatives, and quantitative strategy.

    Meanwhile, companies that disappoint on both metrics are taking a bigger hit than normal, with the average stock falling 5.2% in the next trading session, compared to the usual 3.1% decline seen over the past five years.

    "The broader market is having digestion problems in and around this earnings season," Emanuel told Yahoo Finance on April 19.

    This trend will be in particular focus as the week carries on, with artificial intelligence darling Meta (META) expected to report after the bell on Wednesday, followed by Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday.

    Emanuel added: "Given these extended valuations [in the S&P 500], even good news may not be good news, particularly in these names that have run as far as they have,"

  • Donald Trump set to nab $1.1 billion 'earnout' bonus from DJT stock

    Trump Media & Technology Group stock (DJT) is nearing a milestone that would secure Donald Trump an additional $1.1 billion — but only if current trading levels hold until the end of the close.

    According to a regulatory filing, Trump is entitled to an additional 36 million shares if the company's share price trades above $17.50 "for twenty out of any thirty trading days" over the next three years.

    That means Trump could secure his "earnout" bonus at the end of Tuesday's trading session. The stock is currently trading at around $32 a share.

    Trump Media, the parent company of Truth Social, went public on the Nasdaq after merging with special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp. in a deal approved by shareholders late last month. Shares are down nearly 60% since the end of March.

    Short interest in DJT stock — bets that the stock price will fall rather than rise — is about 13% of outstanding shares, according to the latest data from S3 Partners. The company recently attempted to fend off short sellers by advising investors on ways to prevent their shares from being loaned for short-interest positions.

    Trump maintains a roughly 60% stake in the company. At current levels, Trump Media boasts a market cap of roughly $4.3 billion, giving the former president a stake worth around $2.6 billion. Right after the company's public debut, Trump's stake was worth just over $4.5 billion.

    Read more here.

  • The US economy showed signs of a 'wobble' in April

    New data released Tuesday flashed a sign that the US economy could be losing steam.

    S&P Global's flash US composite PMI, which captures activity in both the services and manufacturing sectors, came in at 50.9 in April, its lowest reading in four months. April's print was down from the 52.1 reading seen in March and below economists' expectations for 52.

    S&P Global Market Intelligence chief business economist Chris Williamson told Yahoo Finance that the composite reading above 50 indicates the economy still grew in April. But the decline from previous months shows a "little bit of a wobble" for economic activity to start the second quarter.

    "It's going to be interesting to watch this and see how that persists," Williamson said. "But certainly, the second quarter so far is not looking as strong as the first quarter, which I think is pretty much in line with what most people were anticipating. It was a good start to the year, [and now it's] losing some momentum."

    After hitting a 20-month high in January, overall business confidence took a hit, reaching its lowest level since November. April's report also showed a decline in new orders for the first time in six months while companies scaled back on employment for the first time in nearly four years.

    Williamson noted the tick lower in business expectations for the year ahead was likely impacted by the shifting narrative around monetary policy. In January, when business confidence was booming, markets were pricing in a range of six or seven interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve this year. Since then, expectations have shifted, and consensus now expects closer to two interest rate cuts in 2024, per Bloomberg data.

    This has sent Treasury yields soaring, with the 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) up nearly 80 basis points from the start of February. That, Williamson noted, tightens financial conditions and can weigh on sentiment.

    "You've got demand pulling back slightly as sort of a readjustment, if you like, of the demand environment in the light of this new rates environment,” Williamson said.

    Read more here.

  • Nasdaq, S&P 500 soar

    Markets climbed in midday trading on Tuesday after companies including Spotify (SPOT), General Electric (GE), and General Motors (GM) all jumped on positive earnings results.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) led the afternoon, up around 1.6%. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained about 1.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed roughly 0.7%.

    Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year note (^TNX) falling 4 basis points to trade around 4.6%. Crude oil (CL=F) climbed about 1% to trade just above $83 a barrel while gold (GC=F) slipped to trade around 2,343 an ounce.

  • Stocks 'in the vicinity' of a market bottom — here's what to watch

    Increased signs of pessimism are beginning to percolate in US stocks. That means a market bottom could be around the corner, according to Fundstrat head of research Tom Lee.

    Lee noted markets are "in the vicinity" of a bottom in a video explainer sent to clients Tuesday morning. He explained a few reasons behind his thesis — from elevated inflation expectations to hedge fund short interest surging to 2022 levels.

    So how do we know if markets have bottomed out? Lee cited two key technical levels to watch for the S&P 500 (^GSPC): 5,019.02 and 4,953.56.

    If the index rises above 5,019.02, that would be a positive sign that the worst is behind us. Conversely, if the index dips below 4,953.56, that would be "a set up for a Buy signal."

    Still, the strategist warned that "market bottoms are dangerous," saying that although they present opportunities, they also create "a lot of chaos."

    To note, Treasury yields are off their highs while crude oil and the VIX volatility index have also come down. That's all positive indicators of a market recovery, Lee said.

    He advised investors to keep an eye on "potential catalysts" throughout the trading week: earnings and PCE inflation data.

  • Earnings roundup: Spotify, GM, UPS, & more

    A slew of earnings arrived before the bell this morning. Here's your recap:

    Spotify (SPOT): The audio giant reported fiscal first quarter earnings on Tuesday that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines. The company also swung to a profit as it continues to implement its recent "efficiency" strategy. Monthly active users (MAUs) missed expectations, although shares still soared, up as much as 15% in early trading.

    General Motors (GM): Shares of the automaker rose about 5% early Tuesday after the company posted a beat on both the top and bottom lines and raised its full-year outlook. GM also reported a reduction in battery costs for its electric vehicles (EVs), adding it still sees "positive variable profit" in its EV business in the back half of 2024.

    General Electric (GE): GE Aerospace saw shares jump 7% after it posted its first quarterly report since becoming a standalone company. The jet engine maker beat both profit and revenue expectations and lifted its full-year outlook. To note, the report also included the results of GE Vernova, which officially split from GE Aerospace on April 2.

    United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS reported mixed results on Tuesday as delivery volumes declined in the first quarter. The company did post a profit beat amid its $1 billion cost-cutting effort. Shares rose to kick off the trading day and are up more than 2%.

    JetBlue (JBLU): Shares sank nearly 20% after the airliner slashed its full-year revenue outlook, citing elevated capacities in its Latin American region that will pressure revenue growth in the months ahead.

    PepsiCo (PEP): PepsiCo topped Wall Street expectations in the first quarter, although recalls from its Quaker Foods North America unit registered a hit to demand with the division reporting a 22% drop in volume. Higher prices, meanwhile, pressured other units like beverages and Frito-Lay North America. Shares slumped about 2%.

  • US has 'structural shortage' of millions of homes, PulteGroup CEO says

    Homebuilder PulteGroup (PHM) said Tuesday that a chronic housing shortage in the US presents the company with an opportunity to grow its market share.

    “After more than a decade of underbuilding, it is estimated that our country has a structural shortage of several million homes,” PulteGroup CEO Ryan Marshall said in a press release. “Our strong financial performance reflects both favorable demand conditions and our balanced operating model that allows us to more effectively meet the individual needs of first-time, move-up and active-adult consumers."

    The comments came as the company reported first quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, sending its stock up as much as 4%.

    PHM reported earnings of $3.10 per share on revenue of $3.95 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected EPS of $2.36 on revenue of $3.58 billion.

    Homebuilders like Pulte have been able to manage the high interest rate environment by offering incentives to buyers. The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan topped 7% last week, according to Freddie Mac.

    Marshall went on to say on the company's first quarter earnings call that home prices will likely continue to rise due to limited inventory.

    "Our company's ability to offer targeted incentives, particularly mortgage rate buydowns, is a powerful tool that can help bridge the affordability gap,” he said.

    He added that, in the first quarter, "approximately 25% of our homebuyers used our national rate program. In a world where the consensus is that interest rates will be higher for longer, our rate incentives likely become an even greater competitive advantage, especially relative to the existing home seller."

  • Stocks open higher ahead of key earnings

    US stocks opened higher on Tuesday ahead of a slew of key earnings reports.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose about 0.5% after staging a comeback from a six-day run of losses the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) inched up roughly 0.4%, while contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also stepped up 0.4%.

  • The IPO outlook headed in the right direction

    There may be concern about what the Fed does or doesn’t do on rates this year, but private companies are still leaning toward coming to public markets this year.

    That's according to new IPO research on Tuesday by Edelman Smithfield, shared exclusively with Yahoo Finance. According to the survey, about 89% of investors expect to see resumed activity in the US IPO market from April to December 2024. Roughly 91% of investors are about the same or more likely to invest in future IPOs.

    Edelman Smithfield surveyed 106 full-time US chief investment officers, portfolio managers, and buy-side analysts. At least 50% of those surveyed work for investment firms with assets under management of $50 billion or more.

    I found the graphic below from the slide deck particularly interesting. It shows how prospective investors are thinking about investing in IPOs in 2024. Take note of the balanced focus on key metrics — in other words, investors in this backdrop want to see more than just a pathway to profits.

    Investors want to see a lot from potential public companies in 2024.
    Investors want to see a lot from potential public companies in 2024. (Edelman Smithfield)
  • Quick take on GM's earnings blowout

    GM's (GM) stock is popping by almost 5% after the company's big earnings beat (which continues to occur because the company has been an aggressive repurchaser of its stock in recent quarters and analysts aren't modeling it correctly) and full-year guidance lift.

    After an initial pass through the earnings deck, it's clear GM is just a different investing story than embattled Tesla (TSLA) right now. GM is cutting costs. GM is finding success with its new EVs. GM is buying back a ton of stock.

    Tesla is cutting prices and pondering robotaxis.

    Yep.

    I chatted with GM's CFO Paul Jacobson this morning — he struck an upbeat tone on the company's product pricing and EV demand. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian has everything you need to know about the earnings report here.

    Before you go, below is an inside look into what GM and CEO Mary Barra are up to:

  • First take on PepsiCo earnings

    PepsiCo (PEP) is seeing an interesting reaction to its earnings report this morning.

    While it's great to see PepsiCo maintain its sales and profit outlook for 2024, the stock may be bidding down on the quarterly volume declines at the Frito Lay North America and North America Beverage business. The company did note that volume trends improved sequentially, but the year-on-year declines suggest shoppers are still pushing back on price increases.

    PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta tells me he thinks volumes will continue to gain ground in coming quarters. He also doesn't expect industry promotions to pick up as one way to lower prices for shoppers.