After Great April, Stocks Start May With a Thud

Dow falls more than 600 points
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2020 3:05 PM CDT
After Great April, Stocks Start May With a Thud
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, May 1, 2020.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Stocks fell Friday after Amazon and other big companies laid out how the coronavirus pandemic is hitting their bottom lines. A day after closing out its best month since 1987, the S&P 500 dropped 81 points, or 2.8%, to 2,830. Meanwhile, the Dow fell 622 points, or 2.5%, to 23,723, and the Nasdaq fell 284 points, or 3.2%, to 8,604. Energy stocks, technology companies, retailers, and health care stocks accounted for much of the decline, per the AP. Amazon sank 6.9% after it reported profit for the latest quarter that fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. The retail giant also said it will spend billions of dollars this quarter to pay workers overtime, buy masks for them, and make other investments. Its movements have outsized sway on the S&P 500 because it’s the third-largest company in the index.

Exxon Mobil fell 5.7% after it said it swung to a loss of $610 million last quarter. Wall Street has been bracing for a poor showing by companies this earnings season, reflecting the economic shock from the coronavirus. Many companies have pulled their earnings guidance for the rest of the year, citing uncertainty about how much of an impact the outbreak will have on their business and the economy, which is now in a recession. "There’s an expectation that we’ll have a very difficult second quarter for GDP and profits, and the third quarter will probably still be difficult,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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