By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business

Equity investors balked at the aggressive pivot from the Federal Reserve as it takes a stance against inflation.

But earnings at some of the biggest companies still look pretty solid. Does this mean that the sale of technology companies and other high-growth companies is overdone?

Apple: The iPhone maker, whose shares are down 10% this year, posted record revenue for its all-important holiday quarter, even as it continued to battle supply chain shortages.

“We set all-time records for both developed and emerging markets and saw revenue growth across all of our product categories except iPad, which we believe will be limited in supply,” CEO Tim Cook said on a conference call with analysts.

The all-new iPhone 13 generated $71.6 billion in global revenue from smartphone sales, while service revenue — a growing part of Apple’s business — rose 24% to $19.5 billion. dollars.

The company’s profit totaled $34.6 billion, better than Wall Street expected. The shares are up 2.5% in premarket trading on Friday.

You’re here : The electric carmaker, whose stock is down 22% year-to-date, also overcame supply chain constraints to post record profits.

“With chip shortages still a major overhead on the automotive space and logistical issues globally, this impressive earnings beat speaks to a [electric vehicle] a demand trajectory that looks quite robust for Tesla heading into 2022,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a note to clients.

CEO Elon Musk has warned that the company will put plans for new vehicles on hold due to component supply issues.

“We will not be introducing new vehicle models this year,” Musk told analysts. “That wouldn’t make any sense. We will always be limited in parts.

Tesla will still aim to increase vehicle deliveries by 50% this year. Investors sold its stock on Thursday, however, sending it to a three-month low.

Microsoft: The tech company, whose shares are down 11% this year, reported revenue of $51.7 billion and profit of $18.8 billion, driven in part by continued demand for cloud services . That’s a 21% jump from a year earlier and was better than Wall Street forecasts.

The company’s guidance for its current quarter was also reassuring.

“We expect our differentiated market position, customer demand for our high-value hybrid and cloud offerings, and consistent execution to drive another strong quarter of revenue growth,” said Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. to analysts.

The takeaway: The S&P 500 is on track for its fourth consecutive week of losses. Investors had hoped the earnings would be a welcome distraction from the Fed and catalyze a turnaround. So far, that hasn’t really materialized – simply because the expectations are so high and the anxiety runs deeper.

“We believe the Fed’s more hawkish message is increasing pressure on companies to take profits,” BNP Paribas analysts said in a note to clients this week.

To be continued: Earnings from another batch of big companies next week, including Facebook’s Meta and Google’s Alphabet, could play a big role in consolidating market sentiment.

Gold Shines Again as Stocks Crash

Stocks have fallen this year. Just like bitcoin. But the gold is holding up.

The price of the yellow metal is around 2.5% lower this year, hovering around $1,786 per ounce. The S&P 500 is down 9%, while bitcoin plunged 22%.

My CNN Business colleague Paul R. La Monica asks: Will the commodity catch on? And could it return to its all-time high above $2,000 at the start of the pandemic?

Some experts think so.

“Gold remains a safe haven and insurance against geopolitical risks,” said André Christl, CEO of Heraeus Precious Metals, in a recent report. “The risk of persistently high inflation is also a positive for gold.”

Gold is often seen as a good hedge against rising interest rates and inflation since it should, in theory, retain more of its value given that it is an asset. tangible and rare.

Some strategists say the return of market volatility this year, which has hurt meme stocks and bitcoin in particular, could lead to further gains for gold.

“Cryptos stole all the oxygen from gold last year, and people are turning to crypto for many of the same reasons as gold,” said Robert Minter, director of ETF investment strategy at Abrn, noting bitcoin bulls have argued that it should also be seen as an inflation hedge.

However, recent turbulence has thrown cold water on this thesis.

“Investors are starting to realize bitcoin is more of a risky asset,” Minter said. “It’s less a portfolio diversification tool than an energy drink.”

Robinhood shares plunge after big app loss

In early 2021, Robinhood caught the eye as hobby traders used the trading app to acquire shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment, sending stocks of struggling companies skyrocketing.

A year later, Robinhood is struggling to turn its passionate user base into lasting profits. Shares of the company are down 14% in premarket trading after reporting a net loss of $423 million for the last three months of last year. During the same period in 2020, before Robinhood’s IPO, it posted a net profit of $13 million.

Investor preview: Robinhood shares closed Thursday at $11.61, 69% below their IPO price of $38 each. Shares of the company have been hammered by the recent sell-off of tech companies, which has particularly hit newer and riskier names.

Corporate profits will do little to restore confidence. Monthly active users were up 48% from a year ago, but down 8% from the quarter ending September.

Costs in the fourth quarter jumped 162% from a year earlier – although executives said this was mainly due to employee stock compensation and sought to reassure investors that they would handle them better in the future.

“We expect to increase our costs much more slowly from now on,” CEO Vlad Tenev said in a call with analysts.


Caterpillar, Chevron, Phillips 66, Colgate-Palmolive and Synchrony Financial publish their results before the opening of the American markets.

Also today: U.S. personal income and spending data, plus the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, all released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Coming next week: earnings from ExxonMobil, Alphabet, Starbucks, Meta, Nokia, Amazon and Ford.

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