After all is said and done, Apple (AAPL) finally came through with numbers that pleased the Street, and shares are up about $6 per share in the three trading days since earnings were released Tuesday night. I wonder if this gets CEO Tim Cook off the hot seat for now? I would say it does, since everyone and their dog was expecting the company to guide down given the tough compares given last December quarter's terrific iPhone sales. On the flip side, as early as Wednesday morning I was already hearing about how awful the March quarter will be.
Last night China's Baidu (BIDU) reported earnings and everything was pretty much exactly the same as the June quarter report. The company continues investing heavily in its O2O initiatives and, as a result, margins are going to continue to be under severe pressure. The difference? After the June quarter, the stock was hammered lower for about $20 per share. After this quarter, the stock is actually up almost the same amount. Full circle, anyone?
For the first time in LinkedIn's (LNKD) life as a public company, I have realized what a cash machine it is. It's almost like having a license to print money. Every business unit was able to beat Street estimates and the company continues guiding higher. Pretty impressive, indeed, and if they keep this up, the stock can double, even from here, given time.
We also had a Federal Reserve event this week and the "Wise Ones" at the central bank chose to leave the door wide open for a rate cut at the December meeting. A very small part of me says that they are smart enough to know that our economy is and was never ready for a rate hike and are posturing so as to not to be seen as pandering to the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, People's Bank of China and the rest. In reality, they have boxed themselves in and now can't see a way out except to continue banging on the same rate-hike drum as they have for the last year and a half. Or they have to admit they were way too premature in their rate hike stance, which their arrogance will not allow.
Finally, our friends in China decided that the one-child policy is no longer in effect and couples are now encouraged to have two children. Is China's rapidly aging population giving the leadership nightmares? Or is it a way to continue to ensure that China has a steady supply of labor in the coming decades? Can't imagine GDP growth dictating something as personal and intimate as the number of children to have, but there you have it.
And for NFL fans: I will give the pathetic Dallas Cowboys one more shout out. Let's see if Dez can make a difference this weekend, with Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks on his tail all game.
Have a safe and happy weekend.