US stocks took a breather with the Dow moving above 21,000 in early trading but then sliding into the close with a 21 point loss to 20,975 on higher trading volume.
Shares of US Steel were whacked after reporting earnings that missed expectations by a ton! Get it…..a ton? The company, after years of downsizing and defending margins due to cheap Chinese imports, is seeing better demand and pricing and has made the decision to restart facilities and modernize plants which is expensive and does not allow USX shareholders to reap the benefits of steel tariffs that started under the Obama administration and have intensified under the Trump administration. While USX posted a 16% revenue gain they lost $.83 cents per share. USX CEO Mario Longhi said plant upgrades and restarts will take 3 to 4 years and while everyone agrees that this could pay off in the long run the gurus are upset over this near term disruption because it was not factored into their estimates.
Boeing reported a 7% drop in revenue and a 19% increase in net income. The revenue drop missed expectations while the profit report was well received.
Twitter shares jumped after the company reported better than expected results even though revenue and net profits were lower. Daily active users or DAUs jumped 14% which surprised analysts because the company had put the clamps on abusive tweets and lost the NFL contract. Apparently with nicer tweets or what we call “sweet tweets” the company gets more traffic.
In keeping with its nature of doing things in bulk, Costco or “Costco’s” as it is known to baby boomers, reported it will pay a special dividend of $7 per share. This means the company will pay out about $3.1 billion to it happy shareholders.