Wall Street declines with Amazon; S&P 500 posts gains for month


FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

July 30, 2021

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Friday with Amazon.com shares declining after the company forecast lower sales growth, but the S&P 500 still posted a sixth straight month of gains.

Amazon.com Inc shares sank after it reported late on Thursday revenue for the second quarter that was shy of analysts’ average estimate and said sales growth would ease in the next few quarters as customers ventured more outside the home.

Shares of other internet and tech giants that did well during the lockdowns of last year, including Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc, were mostly lower.

“Overall earnings have been good. But Amazon … and some of last year’s winners are taking some of the air out of the market today,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “This market has been driven by big tech and when tech does well, the market seems to go right along with it, and when it doesn’t,” it falls.

Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in June, although annual inflation accelerated further above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 146.36 points, or 0.42%, to 34,938.17, the S&P 500 lost 23.58 points, or 0.53%, to 4,395.57 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 101.51 points, or 0.69%, to 14,676.76.

Strong earnings and the continued rebound in the U.S. economy have helped to support stocks this month, but the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and rising inflation have been concerns.

“There are still some distant jitters, whispers about the Delta variant, about cases rising, and I think some underlying worries about a slowdown of the reopenings and possible reversal,” Dollarhide said.

Also on the earnings front, Pampers maker Procter & Gamble Co rose as it forecast higher core earnings for this year, and U.S.-listed shares of Canada’s Restaurant Brands International Inc jumped after the Burger King owner beat estimates for quarterly profit.

Pinterest Inc, however, plunged after saying U.S. user growth was decelerating as people who used the platform for crafts and DIY projects during the height of the pandemic were stepping out more.

Caterpillar Inc shares also fell, even though the company posted a rise in second-quarter adjusted profit on the back of a recovery in global economic activity.

Results on the quarter overall have been much stronger than expected, with about 89% of the reports beating analysts’ estimates on earnings, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Earnings are now expected to have climbed 89.8% in the second quarter versus forecasts of 65.4% at the start of July.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Matthew Lewis)

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