NEW YORK/LONDON – US stocks dropped on Friday to pull further from record highs as an underwhelming earnings report from Amazon.com Inc dampened the market mood, while the dollar rose a shade but hovered near a one-month low.
After making record profits during the pandemic, Amazon said late on Thursday that its sales growth would slow in the next few quarters as people ventured outside their homes post-pandemic and reduced online shopping.
Investors sold the stock on the remarks even though the giant online retailer still earned an eye-watering US$113 billion in revenues in the second quarter, albeit US$2 billion shy of analysts' forecasts.
In early Friday trade, Amazon shares slid 7.3 percent, dragging the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite down 0.91 percent. That fed profit-taking elsewhere, with the S&P 500 losing 0.44 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, up just 0.04 percent. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow had struck record highs on Thursday.
"Amazon's weak report and the impact on futures immediately made its impact felt on global markets," said Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group, LLC.
But Hickey noted that "just because investors haven't reacted to the company's recent reports with excitement doesn't mean Amazon has been a poor performer," adding that the share has climbed 17 percent in the past year.
Still, Amazon's warning of slowing growth gave investors a reason to tamper recent market exuberance and cash in profits.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.18 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.46 percent.
That investors were not scooping up risky assets nudged Treasury yields lower.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields retreated to 1.2406 percent, from 1.269 percent late on Thursday. The yield on the 2-year note fell to 0.1937 percent, from 0.201 percent.
The dollar, which hit a one-month low on Thursday, was flat, as bullish dollar investors shied the greenback after the Federal Reserve seemed to strike a dovish tone this week by saying it will watch economic data before withdrawing any policy support.
The dollar index inched up just 0.09 percent, and the euro was also flat, down 0.07 percent at US$1.1878.
Oil prices kept their march higher though, as investors bet that vaccinations would alleviate the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections across the globe and keep demand growing faster than supply.
Brent was down 0.22 percent at US$75.88 per barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude traded down 0.43 percent at US$73.30. Brent crude is still up nearly 2 percent for the week.
US crude recently rose 0.31 percent to US$73.85 per barrel and Brent was at US$76.34, up 0.38 percent on the day.
Gold prices, which rose this week on hopes that bullion would be a good hedge against inflation given a dovish Fed, succumbed to slight profit-taking on Friday.
Spot gold dropped 0.2 percent to US$1,824.41 an ounce. US gold futures fell 0.31 percent to US$1,825.50 an ounce.