Stock futures took a dip on Wednesday, with Microsoft and Alphabet leading the way as their quarterly results surpassed expectations. Despite this positive news, both companies saw a decline in their stock prices. Additionally, investors will be closely watching the Federal Reserve's first policy meeting of 2024, where it is expected that interest rates will remain unchanged.

Microsoft Reports Strong Q2 Earnings

Microsoft announced that its fiscal second-quarter earnings reached $2.93 per share, exceeding analysts' predictions of $2.79 per share. The company's revenue also experienced significant growth, climbing to $62 billion from $52.7 billion the previous year. Analysts had estimated revenue to be around $61.1 billion. Notably, Microsoft saw a noteworthy 30% increase (28% when adjusted for currency) in Azure and other cloud revenue. Looking ahead to the third quarter, Microsoft expects Azure's growth to align with the 28% growth seen in Q2, surpassing Wall Street's expectations by about one percentage point. However, despite these positive figures, the company's stock fell by 1.4% in premarket trading.

Alphabet's Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported that its fourth-quarter earnings reached $1.64 per share, compared to $1.05 per share the previous year. Overall revenue at the search giant also grew significantly, reaching $86.3 billion compared to $76 billion in the same period last year. While these results were impressive, total advertising sales at Google came in slightly below analysts' expectations at $65.5 billion, falling short of the forecasted $65.8 billion. As a result, Alphabet's stock saw a decline of 5.2%.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Posts Mixed Results

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) released its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings, meeting estimates, and exceeding revenue expectations. However, the chip maker provided a lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter, estimating it to be around "$5.4 billion, plus or minus $300 million," compared to Wall Street's projection of $5.73 billion. On the positive side, CEO Lisa Su raised the outlook for data center AI chip sales, predicting that revenue from data center GPU products would surpass $3.5 billion in 2024. Nevertheless, AMD's stock dropped by 6.4%.

In summary, despite strong earnings reports from Microsoft and Alphabet, their stocks faced downward pressure in the market. Investors are also closely monitoring the Federal Reserve's policy meeting for any potential impacts on interest rates. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices delivered mixed results, with adjusted earnings in line with expectations but a lower-than-anticipated revenue forecast for the first quarter.

Tesla CEO's Pay Package Voided

In a recent court opinion, a Delaware court has rendered Elon Musk's compensation plan for Tesla null and void. The pay package, which was originally valued at nearly $56 billion, was deemed deeply flawed by Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick. As a result, Tesla's stock dropped 3.3% in premarket trading.

Walmart Declares Stock Split

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, announced a 3-for-1 stock split, its first since 1999. This move led to a 1.4% rise in Walmart's stock, bringing it close to an all-time high of $167.85. The company hopes that the split will incentivize its employees to invest in Walmart shares. Chief Executive Doug McMillon stated, "Given our growth and plans for the future, we felt it was a good time to split the stock and encourage our associates to participate."

Starbucks Misses Expectations in First Quarter

Starbucks fell short of analysts' earnings and revenue expectations in its fiscal first quarter. Additionally, the coffee chain reduced its revenue guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year. Despite this disappointment, Starbucks saw a 2.9% increase in premarket trading.

Skyworks Solutions Exceeds Expectations

Analog and mixed-signal chip manufacturer, Skyworks Solutions, experienced a significant boost as its adjusted earnings for the fiscal first quarter surpassed analysts' forecasts. As a result, the company's stock jumped by 4.5%.

Novo Nordisk Sees Surge in Profits

Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk reported a remarkable 62% surge in fourth-quarter profit, accompanied by a 37% increase in sales. The boost was primarily driven by high demand for the weight-loss drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic. U.S.-listed shares of Novo Nordisk rose by 1.3%.

PayPal Announces Workforce Reduction

Digital payments company, PayPal, plans to downsize its global workforce by 9%, eliminating approximately 2,500 jobs. The decision stems from the need to "right-size" the company under new CEO Alex Chriss amidst increased competition in the market. As news of the job cuts spread, PayPal's stock fell by 1.3%.

Upcoming Earnings Reports

Several notable companies are expected to release their earnings reports on Wednesday. The list includes Boeing, Mastercard, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Qualcomm, and Phillips 66. These reports will provide valuable insights into the performance of these industry leaders.

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