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Stock Market News: Apple Event Stirs Speculation; Zoom Posts a Bigger Profit

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Major benchmarks continued their upward run on Friday morning, with economic data from the Department of Labor providing the latest reading on the jobs front. A somewhat tepid gain in nonfarm payrolls led market participants to conclude that the Federal Reserve is likely to give in to their demands and cut interest rates further. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 78 points to 26,807. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) rose 7 points to 2,983, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) picked up 17 points to 8,134.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is scheduled to have a high-profile event on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and those who follow the Cupertino-based tech giant are working hard to figure out exactly what they should expect from company executives at the showcase. Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM) reported its latest financial results, and although they showed continued growth and an unexpectedly large net profit for the video-conferencing specialist, shareholders didn't get the reward they expected.

Apple gets ready for a rollout

Shares of Apple were little changed on Friday morning as investors focused on what it's likely to say at its product release event next Tuesday. The event, which was extended "by innovation only," is just the latest in a long series of annual presentations that the iPhone maker has made going back several years to prepare consumers for the holiday season.

Apple Store location seen from outside in an open-air mall with a palm tree.

Image source: Apple.

Ever since Apple announced the Sept. 10 date, people have speculated about what the company will say. It's almost a certainty that new iPhone models will be part of the release, with reports suggesting that some new phones will target the high end of market demand among professionals. In particular, large versions of the iPhone XS that sport organic LED displays, improved camera technology, and better performance could earn the "Pro" moniker that iPad users have seen for several years.

Yet Apple has emphasized its efforts to look beyond its popular hardware to build out its services offerings, and investors are hungry for more news on a couple of initiatives that have been in the works for a while. Earlier this year, the tech titan revealed plans for its Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade services, but the company hasn't yet given details about future launches or exactly what the offerings will look like.

Whatever Apple says, shareholders will look not only at anticipated demand but also at some of the challenges that the company has faced, especially those related to trade. Apple's stock has moved largely in line with sentiment about tariffs between the U.S. and China, and trade talks could therefore overshadow any hype that its event generates.

Zoom's profit booms

Zoom Video Communications saw its stock drop 3% Friday morning. The video-conferencing specialist's second-quarter financial report confirmed the strength of its business model, but investors apparently didn't get enough good news to justify sending its shares sharply higher.

Zoom's numbers themselves were stunning. Revenue came close to doubling in the second quarter compared to the year-earlier period, which was even faster than the roughly 75% growth rate that most of those following the stock had anticipated. Zoom posted positive net income even on an unadjusted basis, and when you take stock-based compensation and other extraordinary items into account, adjusted net income was nearly five times higher than what the company posted a year ago.

Fundamentally, Zoom's still doing well. Counts of clients with more than 10 employees jumped 78% to 66,300, and the numbers of major clients with $100,000 in annual sales more than doubled to 466. Yet even Zoom's upgraded guidance for the rest of the year wasn't enough to get investors excited.

Given how well Zoom did coming out of the IPO gate, it's not surprising to see the stock consolidate. In time, though, shareholders can expect returns to mirror business performance, and Zoom looks like it's making all the right moves toward long-term success.

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Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article was originally published on Fool.com