6 Most Important Things in Business Today: Microsoft Becomes No. 2 Market Cap

Douglas A. McIntyre

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is set to pass Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) as the number two market cap company due to stock price reactions to earnings at both companies. Each is at about $830 billion. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the leader at $1 trillion.

U.S. market futures dropped after poor earnings from Amazon and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). According to Reuters:

Not helping the mood was disappointing results from two of the biggest tech-related companies. Amazon posted a record profit late Thursday, but sales disappointed, and more importantly its forecast for fourth-quarter sales — the all-important holiday shopping period — was below analyst expectations. Shares slid over 7% in late trading.

Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. fell 4% in Thursday’s extended session after posting better-than-forecast earnings, but a revenue miss.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) started a long hoped for turnaround. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reported stronger sales growth in the latest quarter as the quick-service restaurant chain works to turn around the company under its new chief executive by focusing on innovation and driving digital sales.

The burrito maker said its third-quarter revenue rose 8.6% to $1.23 billion, in line with analysts’ expectations. Digital sales grew 48.3% in the quarter and made up 11.2% of sales

Nokia will make large layoffs as it changes its business strategy. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Nokia Corp. is starting to benefit from the shift to 5G technology, the telecom-equipment giant said Thursday, but added that it would cut thousands of jobs to prepare itself for the new era.

The industry has been waiting for years for cellular carriers to roll out 5G—a superfast generation of wireless networks—and Nokia said Thursday that adoption in the U.S. was already helping it boost sales.

Fox News will start a new streaming service. According to The New York Times:

Fox News viewers love Fox News. Now the network will find out if they are willing to pay for more of it.

In a first-of-its-kind test for the cable news market, Fox News said on Thursday that its stand-alone streaming service will debut next month, with subscribers paying about $65 a year.

Amazon will gain billions of dollars in its ad business. According to CNBC:

Amazon’s nascent ad business is creeping up on the giants of online advertising, and is on track to book close to $10 billion a year in annualized sales.

The company reported $2.5 billion in sales in its “Other” category in Q3. The number marks a 122 percent increase year over year and is an increase of $301 million from last quarter.