Stock Market Today – 4/29: Stocks Lower as Big Tech Earnings Whiff; Apple, Amazon Lead Slide

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Updated at 4:10 pm EST

Stocks ended sharply lower Friday, as investors looked to test the impact of a mixed set of big tech earnings on an already-fragile stock market heading into the final trading day of April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 939 points, or 2.77%, to 32,977, while the S&P 500, which is down 7.2% for the month, fell 3.63% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 4.17% as Amazon’s  (AMZN) – Get, Inc. Report posted a surprise first quarter loss, with surging expenses and the weakest revenue growth in a decade.

Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report March quarter earnings beat, which saw iPhone sales rise even amid Covid-triggered shutdowns in China and ongoing disruptions in global supply chains and semiconductor supplies, was clouded by a muted near-term outlook

The reads added to an overall mood of unease in global stocks, which have suffered through their largest monthly retreat in two years, as data from the Commerce Department yesterday indicated a sharp slowdown in the U.S. economy even as interest rate traders continue to price-in 150 basis points worth of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve over the next two policy meetings, starting with next week’s in Washington.

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the core PCE Price index showed a modest decline from last month’s multi-decade highs but not likely fast enough to disrupt the central bank’s rate hike path ahead of next week’s policy meeting in Washington. 

The rate bets have lifted the U.S. dollar to its best monthly gains in seven years, although the greenback eased in overnight trading against a basket of its global peers, with the advance blunting the impact of overseas revenue growth for S&P 500 companies.

Apple shares moved 3.7% lower after cautioning investors that supply chain disruptions, particularly around what CEO Tim Cook called the “Shanghai corridor”, as well as the war in Ukraine, would clip between $4 billion and $8 billion from current quarter revenues.

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The outlook clouded an otherwise solid second quarter earnings beat, which showed the world’s biggest tech company earnings more than $59.6 billion for the three months ending in March, the group’s fiscal second quarter.

Amazon shares slumped the most in nine years after the world’s biggest online retailer posted a a surprise first-quarter loss Thursday, thanks in part to a $7.6 billion write down on its investment in EV maker Rivian  (RIVN) – Get Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A Report, while forecasting softer-than-expected near-term profits.

Amazon’s March quarter loss was $7.56 per share, against a Street forecast of profits topping $8 per share, with revenues up only 7% from last year — the slowest growth rate in a decade — to $116.3 billion.

Honeywell gained 1.9% after the as the aerospace-focused engineering group posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday, while narrowing the range of its full-year profit forecast.

Chevron posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday as profits rose nearly fourfold from last year amid a record surge in U.S. gas prices and a spike in global crude linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Exxon, however, posted weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings Friday, thanks to a massive hit from its plans to exit operations in Russia, sending shares lower in pre-market trading.

Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report shares slipped nearly 1% after CEO Elon Musk said he was done selling shares of his clean-energy car company after dumping near $4 billion in stock to pay for his $44 billion takeover of social media group Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report.