It's been ages since there's been this much news in a given day, so we almost have to group it to get it and figure out what's really happening.
In order of importance, first there is M&A. British American Tobacco's (BTI) bid for Reynolds (RAI) shows you that more money could have been and has been made in tobacco than just about any other group out there, and it keeps happening. I bet BTI has to pay more to get it, but I wouldn't chase and would rather say, "I missed it."
My CNBC colleague David Faber, always breaking new ground, made it clear that Qualcomm (QCOM) and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) have come to a deal at $110 a share, which seems disappointing for NXP shareholders unless you look at the bigger picture, as we are doing for Action Alerts PLUS: The stock was at $80 not that long ago. Huge win. Then, incredibly, the consolidation in media may continue, as David made it clear that where there is deal smoke with AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) , there could be fire. (Qualcomm and AT&T are part of TheStreet's Dividend Stock Advisor portfolio.)
So, just think, Reynolds, NXP, Time Warner -- the deal "bid" underneath the market still makes a ton of sense.
Then there's the upside and downside of earnings, and the two standouts today are Microsoft (MSFT) , which delivered a quarter that showed incredible cloud growth, and the possibility that Amazon (AMZN) has a real competitor, maybe even a superior one, to its Web Services business. I remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came in, he was talking about doing $18 billion in cloud in a couple of years' time. I thought that to be way too aggressive. Yet he's raised the bar to $20 billion by 2018 and I think he will pull it off. (Amazon is part of TheStreet's Growth Seeker portfolio.)
The man is continually underestimated.
Speaking of underestimated, though, have you seen the stock of McDonald's (MCD) roaring? That's as it should be as CEO Steve Easterbrook delivered an astounding 3.5% comparable store growth vs. the 1.5% the naysayers were looking for. Easterbrook has re-energized his most important constituency, the franchises, and while people keep thinking his breakfast all day is all he has up his sleeve, I can safely say you ain't seen nothin' yet. There's much more technology and innovation to come. Don't ring the register.
So many people have doubted PayPal (PYPL) forever that it's intriguing to see still one more good quarter -- it has had many -- and the stock finally reacts positively because the bearish cabal of analysts just couldn't fight the tide anymore. I wouldn't pay up for it as I am sure there will be some recidivism, but congratulations are in order to Dan Schulman and company.
You know where else you don't want to ring the register? Alkermes (ALKS) . Last night, the company announced a breakthrough anti-depressant that works when the others don't and doesn't produce a weight gain. This is the holy grail of one of the biggest markets out there and major props to CEO Richard Pops for pressing forward relentlessly on this drug when others had given up on it. Amazingly the stock, up $13, probably isn't done going higher, although profit-takers will no doubt swarm in eventually.
Twilio (TWLO) , which reported an astounding quarter, has seen its stock pummeled by the announcement of a follow-on offering. The bankers priced it in the hole, down four at $40, and I think the deal holds.
Ahh, but it wasn't all done in fair weather. The charitable trust may own NXPI, but it also owns GE (GE) and here the orders were down 6% and the revenues disappointed. Not disastrous, but certainly nothing to cheer about. I remain committed to it, but if it didn't have a yield to protect it I do believe it would go lower.
Three other disappointers this week? Verizon (VZ) , Union Pacific (UNP) and Travelers (TRV) . The first? Blame more aggressive companies like Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) , they are winning with the hearts and minds and pocketbooks of the millennials with their radical advertisements. Union Pacific? People got too excited about a turn, oops, too early. And Travelers? Shelled mercilessly because of the reason we need driverless cars: distracted drivers. For years we've had a decline in fatalities. That is until texting came along. It's the scourge of the highways, and the insurers, including Travelers, simply weren't and aren't ready for it.
I know, what a couple of days, and I bet this counts as calm vs. next week when the earnings season kicks into even higher gear.