Despite a brief surge from a trio of drug stocks, tech companies ultimately maintained their stronghold as the leaders in August’s market gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100. While the Dow ended the month with a 2.4% drop, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 fell by 1.8% and 1.6% respectively, tech companies secured the top three positions.
Leading the Dow: Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems (CSCO), a major provider of networking equipment, emerged as the strongest performer in the Dow with an impressive August gain of 10.2%. This marked its best monthly performance since October. The company’s quarterly earnings and revenue surpassed expectations on August 16, although its fiscal 2024 outlook did not meet the optimistic forecast of Wall Street.
During a call to discuss the results, CEO Chuck Robbins revealed that product orders in the quarter had increased by 30% sequentially, with double-digit growth across all customer markets. Robbins emphasized that this exceeded historical order trends of 18% to 20% sequential order growth.
CFO Scott Herren further commented on Cisco Systems’ future prospects, stating that AI-related business would substantially impact the company’s financial results by the end of fiscal 2024. Herren expressed confidence in the potential of AI, describing it as a multi-year opportunity in which Cisco Systems is well-positioned to succeed.
Starring in the S&P 500: Arista Networks
Arista Networks (ANET) has emerged as the shining star in the S&P 500, clocking a remarkable gain of 25.9%. This marks the networking equipment company’s hottest run since November 2020.
Arista specializes in developing networking hardware for data centers, with Microsoft (MSFT) and Meta Platforms (META) being among its prominent customers. As companies continue to invest in artificial intelligence and strengthen their operations, Arista stands to benefit from this trend. However, concerns about a potential slowdown in data-center infrastructure demand and signs of reduced spending from Microsoft and Meta led to a sell-off of Arista’s stock in late July.
Despite the initial worries, Arista managed to surpass market expectations and reported excellent financial results at the end of the month, which triggered a significant surge in the company’s share price as August commenced.
Nasdaq 100’s Top Performer: Atlassian
Atlassian (TEAM) takes the spotlight as the leading performer in the Nasdaq 100, experiencing a substantial surge of 12.2% – its most significant monthly gain since May. This cloud-based seller of productivity software has outperformed Wall Street predictions by reporting higher earnings and revenue.
On a call discussing the results, Chief Financial Officer Joe Binz expressed his optimism about the cloud segment. Atlassian expects gradual improvement in growth as more customers transition from traditional data centers to its cloud offering. These positive comments contrast with the company’s tone in May when uncertainties regarding customers’ spending were seen as a concern for the cloud business.