U.S. stocks fell on Friday as disappointing forecasts from Amazon and Apple pushed the Nasdaq toward sharp monthly declines, with the biggest surge in monthly inflation since 2005 adding to investor worries.
Amazon.com Inc slumped 11.9% to a near two-year low as higher costs hurt first-quarter results and the e-commerce giant said it expects to lose as much as $1 billion in operating income this quarter.
Apple Inc, the world’s most valuable company, slipped 0.1% after its glum outlook overshadowed record quarterly profit and sales.
All the 11 major S&P 500 sectors declined in early trading, with consumer discretionary stocks leading losses with a 3.3% drop.
Disappointing results and worries about aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have hammered megacap technology and growth stocks this month.
The Nasdaq is down about 10% in April, putting it in course to match double-digit monthly losses last seen during the height of pandemic-led selloff in March 2020 and the financial crisis in 2008.
“The fact that the stock market has come down already indicates that demand is slowing a little bit and further interest rate hikes will also slow demand,” said Randy Frederick, managing director, trading and derivatives, at Schwab Center for Financial Research.
“As financing debt gets more and more expensive, which I expect it will this year, those companies that need to borrow and have to replace current debt with higher interest rate are going to continue to struggle.”
Data showed the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s favored measure of inflation, shot up 0.9% in March – the largest gain since 2005 – after climbing 0.5% in February.
The Fed is set to meet next week, with traders betting on a 50-basis-point rate hike to combat surging inflation.
Worries around an aggressive monetary policy, the Ukraine war and China’s COVID lockdowns have fueled fears around slowing economic growth. Data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the first quarter.
At 10:27 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 350.82 points, or 1.03%, at 33,565.57, the S&P 500 was down 60.22 points, or 1.40%, at 4,227.28, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 173.67 points, or 1.35%, at 12,697.86.
Exxon Mobil Corp slipped 0.3% as it took a $3.4 billion writedown due to its exit from Russia, while Chevron Corp dropped 1.5% as its first-quarter profit underwhelmed investors.
The earnings season overall has been better than expected so far. Nearly half of the S&P 500 companies have reported through Thursday and 81% of them have topped Wall Street’s expectations. Typically, only 66% beat estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.66-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded nine new highs and 102 new lows.