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Wall Street ends ugly April with more losses, Amazon shares dive

Following disappointing results from Amazon, Wall Street stocks ended a painful April on a sour note Friday, as European and Asian markets surged higher.

Amazon’s stock dropped 14.1 percent after it issued a dismal estimate, citing increased expenses and slower growth than early in the quarter. It was the company’s first loss since 2015.

The earnings were the latest in a string of mixed reports from giant tech stocks, which are widely owned and play a key role in major indices.

“Amazon was the latest to catch Wall Street off guard, reporting its first loss since 2015 amid a multitude of challenges facing the company,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst at forex platform OANDA.

“Like many others, the company is struggling to adjust to post-pandemic life, having scaled up massively over the last couple of years,” Erlam said.

Briefing.com noted the company’s pessimistic outlook “reminded investors of the declining growth prospects in an inflationary climate.”

The Nasdaq dropped 4.2 percent due to declines by Amazon and other tech titans such as Apple and Intel. In April, the technology-rich index dropped 13%.

“An abundance of obstacles remained,” according to Charles Schwab investment bank, “most notably predictions of an aggressive Fed tightening cycle, lockdowns in China, lingering inflation fears, rising interest rates, and the recent spike in the US dollar.”

Investors shrugged over statistics showing that the eurozone’s GDP slowed to 0.2 percent in the first quarter, but inflation remained at record levels.

There was also some much-needed good news for China’s embattled tech sector.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that a meeting of the government’s decision-making body ended with officials saying it was “necessary to promote the healthy development of the platform economy” and “complete its rectification.”

The report suggests an easing of the sweeping clampdown on the country’s biggest firms.

In the Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, officials also said there was a need to “respond to market concerns in a timely manner.”

Hong Kong stock markets closed up four percent and Shanghai put on more than two percent.

– Dollar drops, oil earnings surge –

The dollar fell on profit-taking in foreign exchange after jumping to multi-year highs versus the yen and euro this week, with the US Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates aggressively to tackle increasing inflation.

Oil prices were mixed elsewhere, as concerns over Russian supplies helped to counter weaker demand concerns stoked by China’s lockdowns.

ExxonMobil, on the other hand, stated that first-quarter profits more than quadrupled to $5.5 billion, thanks to higher oil prices, which more than offset $3.4 billion in expenditures related to the closure of its Sakhalin project in Russia.

Chevron’s profits were $6.3 billion, more than four times what they were a year ago, thanks to a 70% increase in revenue to $54.4 billion.

– Key figures at around 2050 GMT –

New York – Dow: DOWN 2.8 percent at 32,977.21 (close)

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 3.6 percent at 4,131.93 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 4.2 percent at 12,854.80 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,544.55 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.8 percent at 14,097.88 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 6,533.77 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.7 percent at 3,802.86 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 4.0 percent at 21,089.39 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 2.4 percent at 3,047.06 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0550 from $1.0499 late Thursday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2578 from $1.2457

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.86 pence from 84.25 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 129.89 yen from 130.85 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.6 percent at $109.34 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $104.69 per barrel

Courtesy Bol News

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