SAN FRANCISCO — Big Tech companies reported mixed quarterly earnings on Thursday, a day after their top executives faced a tough congressional grilling over their market power and alleged monopolistic practices. The staggering economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic was reflected in reports from Amazon, Facebook, and Google's corporate parent, Alphabet. Alphabet reported its first-ever drop in quarterly revenue, a telling sign of a downturn in the digital ad market. Apple delivered surprisingly strong numbers with both its revenue and profit rising, defying analysts' lowered expectations. The iPhone maker's revenue rose 11% to nearly $60 billion while profit rose 12% to $11.3 billion.
NEW YORK — Most of Wall Street stumbled Thursday, but yet another rise for big technology stocks helped keep the market's losses in check. The S&P 500 dropped 0.4%, with nearly three out of four stocks in the index falling. Among the hardest-hit were oil producers, banks and other companies that most need the economy to pull out of its recession. But the index erased most of an earlier of loss of 1.7%. Stronger-than-expected profit reports from UPS and other companies helped. So did steadying prices for Amazon and other big tech-oriented stocks, which reported their own results after the day's trading ended.
NEW YORK — The pandemic-fueled boom in online shopping shows no signs of slowing down, providing more business for delivery companies like United Parcel Service Inc. UPS reported a second-quarter profit of $1.77 billion with the pandemic fueling a 21% surge in daily shipping volume, the largest quarterly increase ever recorded by the company. The daily volume of goods shipped to homes, items that last year might have been purchased in stores, soared 65%. On a per-share basis, the Atlanta company on Thursday reported net income of $2.03. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $2.13 per share. That is $1.09 better than Wall Street had expected.
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has posted results that were not as grim as expected for its second quarter that saw its U.S. factories shuttered for half the period to combat the spread of the coronavirus and car buyers sheltering in place. Ford reported a $1.12 billion second-quarter net profit, pushed into the black by a $3.5 billion gain on the value of its stake in the Argo AI autonomous vehicle operation. Without the one-time gain, the company lost $1.9 billion, or a 35 cents per share. But that was far better than the $1.17 a share loss Wall Street had expected. A year ago, Ford posted a $148 million net profit.
1.4 million seek jobless aid as virus surges in South, West
WASHINGTON — More than 1.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, further evidence of the devastation the coronavirus outbreak has unleashed on the U.S. economy. The continuing wave of job cuts is occurring against the backdrop of a spike in virus cases that has led many states to halt plans to reopen businesses and has caused millions of consumers to delay any return to traveling, shopping and other normal economic activity. Those trends have forced many businesses to cut jobs or at least delay hiring.