April 25 - A money-losing forecast by Amazon, weaker-than-expected results from Ford, and a backslide in progress between The West, Ukraine, and Russia punished the stock market on Friday. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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One of the busiest weeks this earnings season ended with a thud.
Ford had to shell out $400 million last quarter to cover warranty obligations, while at the same time it's offering more incentives to convince consumers to buy its aging line up - both of those things led to a 39 percent plunge in net profit. Lower-than-expected earnings led to a lower stock price by more than three percent.
Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, sending a shiver through tech land. Investors are showing impatience with the company's spending habits on technology, media content and new warehouses. At least 13 Wall Street firms lowered price targets on the stock one-day after Amazon predicted it will lose money in the current quarter. The stock lost one-tenth of its value, plunging to its lowest close in nearly six months, and was the worst stock in the S&P 500.
Take a look at some other momentum names: Netflix down 6.4 percent. Facebook down 5 percent. Weibo down 6 percent. And Twitter down 7 percent ahead of its results next week.
What else is coming next week? A Federal Reserve meeting, first quarter growth figures, April employment numbers and yes more earnings!
Diane Garnick of Clear Alternatives:
SOUNDBITE: DIANE GARNICK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CLEAR ALTERNATIVES (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"In essence, a lot of the macro data coming out is a little lagged as where quarterly earnings are not only going to give us more contemporaneous advice. They're also going to give us the management discussion and analysis will give us insight into what CEOs are thinking about next quarter."
The market will need to hear some good news after Friday. The Dow had its first triple-digit plunge in two weeks and the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 1.75 percent.
That erased all the gains for the week - leaving blue chips down fractionally and the Nasdaq down half a percent.
Geopolitics were also a problem for Wall Street. Washington is stepping up efforts to put more teeth in the next round of possible sanctions against Russia. As Russia warns Ukraine of retaliation for the killing of five pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Standard and Poor's cut Russia's bond rating to one step above junk status.
Stocks - down sharply in Germany, fall in France and the U.K. as well.
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