Stocks fall on Friday, but S&P 500 gains 5% in April

Traders on the New York Stock Exchange

Source: NYSE

The major averages slipped on Friday as investors pored over a flurry of earnings results and a robust profit beat from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The S&P 500 fell 0.72% to 4,181.17, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 185 points to close at 33,874.85. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.85% to 13,962.68.

Despite Friday’s weakness in equities, the S&P 500 notched its third straight month of gains in April, adding about 5.25% to the index. The S&P 500 closed at record levels on Thursday on the heels of blowout earnings results from Apple and Facebook.

The Dow rose about 2.7% this month, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 5.4% in April.

Amazon, the last of Wall Street’s mega-cap tech companies to publish results, reported a record first-quarter profit. The Seattle-based firm said profits more than tripled to $8.1 billion and January-to-March sales soared 44% to $108 billion. The results blew past Wall Street’s expectations with the company earning  $15.79 per share vs. the consensus estimate of $9.54.

Amazon’s results showed demand remained strong for its massive online retail business even as the economy started to open up some. Amazon shares closed in the red on Friday.

Twitter, meanwhile, moved in the opposite direction on user growth results and second-quarter revenue guidance that fell short of analysts’ forecasts. The social media platform said monetizable daily active users totaled 199 million during the three months ended March 31 and reported per-share earnings of 16 cents. Twitter plunged 15.2% on Friday.

Apple came under some slight pressure after the European Union said the company’s App Store was breaching its competition rules. The shares dropped 1.5%.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron closed lower after reporting before the bell. Chevron’s quarterly EPS failed to exceed expectations.

March spending jumped a better-than-expected 4.2%. Personal incomes surged by a massive 21.1% amid more fiscal stimulus.

The PCE price index for March increased 0.5% month-over-month and 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. The core PCE, excluding food and energy, rose 0.4% for March and 1.8% year-over-year. The PCE inflation metric is watched closely by the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier in the week it may show a transitory increase in prices.

The inflation numbers apparently weren’t as high as feared, as the 10-year yield remained flat after the numbers were released.

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