Roundup: U.S. stocks post weekly losses amid mixed earnings, rate cuts speculations

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NEW YORK, July 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks posted weekly losses as investors digested mixed quarterly earnings results and looked for clues of the central bank's next monetary move.

For the week, the Dow declined 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 erased 1.2 percent, and the Nasdaq decreased 1.2 percent.

Microsoft reported revenue of 33.7 billion U.S. dollars, beating Wall Street's estimate. The company's results were driven by a 39-percent year-over-year surge in cloud revenue. Diluted earnings per share was 1.71 U.S. dollars GAAP.

Credit card issuer American Express reported consolidated total revenues of 10.8 billion dollars, which were net of interest expense. Its quarterly diluted earnings per share was 2.07 dollars, up 13 percent from a year ago.

Shares of Netflix plunged more than 10 percent on Thursday after the streaming giant reported a large miss on international subscriber number growth.

It reported quarterly international paid subscriber additions of 2.83 million, and domestic paid subscriber losses of 126,000.

The numbers offset its better-than-expected earnings per share result, which hit 0.60 U.S. dollar.

Morgan Stanley reported net revenues of 10.2 billion dollars and earnings per share of 1.23 dollars, both beating Wall Street's estimates.

Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday, driven by the strength of its retail banking operation. But the company warned that lower rates would hit its net interest income growth.

It reported earnings per diluted share of 0.74 U.S. dollar, and revenue which was net of interest expense of 23.1 billion dollars.

Goldman Sachs beat Wall Street's expectations for second-quarter results Tuesday with outperformance in its investment banking and trading division.

It reported earnings per share of 5.81 U.S. dollars, and revenue of 9.46 billion dollars.

JP Morgan Chase reported second-quarter earnings per share of 2.82 dollars, and revenue of 29.6 billion dollars, both beating Wall Street's estimates.

Second quarter earnings are expected to increase 1.0 percent from the same period last year. Excluding the energy sector, the earnings growth estimate is 1.6 percent, according to Refinitiv on Friday.

Of the 79 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date, 77.2 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations, said Refinitiv in its weekly analysis on corporate earnings.

However, analysts were cautious on third quarter earnings outlook.

The estimated earnings decline rate for the S&P 500 for the third quarter this year is 0.1 percent. If the energy sector is excluded, the earnings growth rate will be 1.0 percent.

Investors were also monitoring remarks by top Federal Reserve officials.

The central bank expected growth in the United States to remain solid, labor markets to stay strong, and inflation to move back up and run near 2 percent, media reports quoted Fed chair Jerome Powell as saying at an economic conference in Paris on Tuesday.

But he noted the "uncertainties about this outlook have increased, however, particularly regarding trade developments and global growth."

Powell repeated his pledge Tuesday to act as appropriate to keep the economic expansion going as his fellow central bankers move toward an expected interest rate cut later this month, said the reports.

Market sentiment was lifted on Thursday afternoon after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said "it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress."

However, New York Fed clarified Williams' speech later, saying it "was an academic speech on 20 years of research. It was not about potential policy actions at the upcoming FOMC meeting," according to CNBC.

Market expectations for a rate cut in July were at 100 percent, with 22.5 percent looking to a 50-basis-point cut, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. Enditem

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