Today in the Market (10/26/2023)

Good Evening! On Thursday, stocks saw significant losses as investors grappled with the consequences of underwhelming earnings announcements from major technology companies, along with an increase in bond rates.

Once again, the Nasdaq Composite fell the most today by 1.18%, while the S&P 500 fell behind by 1.18%. Lastly, the Dow Jones decreased by 0.76%.

NOT HIGH ENOUGH IN THE CLOUDS

Amazon (AMZN) released its financial results for the third quarter on Thursday, surpassing projections for net sales and EPS but falling short in terms of cloud revenue. Amazon’s stock had an initial increase of up to 5% during after-hours trading, but these gains diminished as investors processed the data.

  • Revenue: $143.08 Billion vs. $141.56 Billion Expected
    • AWS Revenue: $23.06 Billion vs. $23.13 Billion Expected
  • Earnings Per Share: $0.94 vs. $0.58 Expected

However, there were positive aspects to note! Sales for AWS had a 12% growth compared to the previous year, and the division’s operating income also showed improvement, reaching $7 billion, which is a significant 29% gain from the previous year. However, it still was not enough to please the market.

It is all about the cloud! This week has yielded a combination of positive and negative outcomes in terms of cloud performance. Microsoft (MSFT) said on Tuesday that its Azure cloud business saw stronger-than-expected growth, although Alphabet’s (GOOG, GOOGL) cloud growth figures were disappointing.

ONLY TOOK 20 YEARS!

It only took nearly twenty years but… Microsoft is making adjustments to an Excel function that has been a source of frustration for scientists. The feature called “Automatic Data Conversion” often changed the names of certain human genes into dates, which made scientific investigations much less accurate. However, it is now possible to deactivate this feature (to do this, navigate to File > Options > Data).

Is it really that big of a deal? Well… each of the approximately 44,000 human genes has an abbreviated name and a symbol, and when a scientist entered “SEPT1” to denote the Septin-1 gene in an Excel spreadsheet, the software would automatically interpret it as “September 1” and modify the entry accordingly.

Okay, but there is no way scientists missed this, right? A review of 10,000 scientific articles on genes published between 2014 and 2020 found that nearly 30% of them had incorrect gene names, which Excel errors were to blame for. By 2020, the regulatory authority responsible for gene names has modified 27 gene names to eliminate any potential confusion in the Microsoft program (SEPT1 was changed to SEPTIN1).

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