Apple Inc (AAPL), Alphabet Inc (GOOG), and Facebook Inc (FB) make for the topmost listings on the S&P 500 in times when the rock-solid knots of ExxonMobil Corp (XOM) or IBM Corp (IBM) are already unstringing.
Valuations of technology-related companies continue to reshuffle industries through the volatility and sale-testing of new products and services: in the enterprise computer clouding, biotechnology or wellness training for some.
The oil sector is the maximum drag on the total index’s earnings, that are the combined reported results from 345 members and estimates of the remaining 155 firms. Combined earnings in 2015 fourth quarter are projected to decline by -6.5% on -4% lower sales in comparison to the previous year.
Energy earnings plunged -79.4%, basic materials -23%, industrial products -17.9%, and aerospace -13%. Transportation earnings grew at +14.4%, medical +9.1%, autos +8.2%, finance +3.1%, consumer discretionary +0.8%, and construction +0.2%. Technology earnings declined to -1.2% but technology revenue was up +1.7% higher.
Most companies in the index beat research estimates that had been more subdued across all sectors, and towards cash-flow and forward ratios.
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK-A) opened a new 26.5 million stake in pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI). Billionaire investor George Soros also sensed opportunity there and purchased over 50,000 shares of KMI and added 685,000 shares of Baker Hughes Inc (BHI).