Salesforce.com Shares Increase on Top Earnings
In the extended trading session on Wednesday, the shares of Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM, -1.85%) increased on heavy volume. This came after the cloud based business software company reported earnings that beat Wall Street expectations. Salesforce.com shares traded at $73.20, up 3.1 percent, after the company raised its revenue guidance for the year while they also reported adjusted earnings per share of 16 cents a share which beat expectations of EPS of 14 cents a share. Added to this, the company also reported revenue of $1.51 billion which also beat estimates by FactSet analysts of $1.5 billion in revenue. Meanwhile for the second quarter, the cloud based business software company also forecast adjusted earnings per share of 17 to 18 cents a share and for the year, Salesforce.com forecast earnings of 69 cents to 71 cents a share on revenue of $6.52 billion to $6.55 billion. This was above analyst expectations for the 2nd-quarter of 17 cents per share while for the year, analysts forecast full year earnings of 69 cents a share on revenue of $6.51 billion.
All eyes were on the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting on Wednesday and after a volatile trading session, U.S. stocks slightly declined. While stock prices gained slightly after the release of the minutes, these gains were slowly lost by the end of the trading day. According to the minutes released, the central bank stated that they are ‘unlikely’ to increase interest rates in June as a result of poor economic growth which was evident during the first quarter. As a result, all three main benchmark indices advanced into record high territory which was last seen on the 31st of December 1999. Despite these initial gains, the S&P 500 index (SPX) dropped 0.1%, or 1.98 points, to 2,125.85. Also on the downside was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which declined 0.2%, or 26.99 points, to 18,285.40. This decline came a day after the blue chip index registered a record high on both Monday and Tuesday. Breaking the downward trend was the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) which advanced 1.71 points to close at 5,071.74.
In currency trading on Wednesday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded higher. This came in response to the release of positive economic data this week which boosted the greenback. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that the number of building permits issued in April increased to 1.143 million units, up 10.1 percent. Also, data showed that housing starts in the country in April also increased by 20.2% to 1.135 million units. Meanwhile, the EUR/USD traded at 1.1102, down 0.43% to a 2-week low while the GBP/USD was trading at 1.5548, up 0.22%. Against the Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc, the USD traded mixed with USD/CAD steady at a one-month high of 1.2239 while the USD/CHF traded at 0.9380, up 0.11 percent. The U.S. dollar index was also at 95.62, up 0.27%.
In Asia, in early morning trading on Thursday, crude oil prices traded higher. This came in response to stronger demand prospects in China. According to data released on Wednesday, the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI in May in China rose to 49.1. This was up from April’s reading of 48.9. Meanwhile, WTI crude oil for July delivery traded at $59.10 a barrel, up 0.19%, on the NYMEX. Overnight, crude oil prices advanced in response to declining U.S. stockpile numbers as well as decreased production in the country which eased concerns of oversupply. Also, on Wednesday, Brent crude oil for July delivery traded at $64.99 a barrel, up 1.52%, or $0.97, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).