Wall Street stumbles at the close of another strong month

NEW YORK (AP) — United States (US) stock indexes fell on Friday, with much of the downward weight coming from a stumble for high-flying Amazon. The S&P 500 lost 23.89, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,395.26. But it nevertheless wrapped up its sixth straight month of gains, its longest such streak since 2018, and it’s still within 0.6 per cent of its record high set last Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 149.06, or 0.4 per cent, to 34,935.47, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 105.59, or 0.7 per cent, to 14,672.68.

Trading was mixed on Friday, with close to two stocks falling in the S&P 500 for every one that rose. Losses for banks and energy producers offset some modest gains for real-estate companies and raw-material producers.

Amazon dropped 7.6 per cent after it reported sales growth for its latest quarter that, while still enviable at 27 per cent, wasn’t as strong as analysts expected. It also gave a forecast for revenue in the current quarter that fell short of Wall Street’s.

Because Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the S&P 500, its stock movements carry extra weight on the index. It alone accounted for more than half of Friday’s drop for the S&P 500.

Amazon was one of the biggest winners of the pandemic, which forced people to hunker down and shop from home. But people have been returning to stores and other pre-pandemic activities.

Digital pinboard and shopping tool company Pinterest ran into a similar issue during its latest quarter. Its stock slumped 18.2 per cent after it reported slower growth than expected for its number of users.

It’s been a busy week for earnings reports from companies, and roughly three out of five in the S&P 500 have now detailed their performance for the spring, according to FactSet. Profits so far have been blowing past the already lofty expectations Wall Street had set.

A Wall Street sign near the New York Stock Exchange in New York. PHOTO: AP