Wall Street slumps amid inflation worries
Wall Street has finished sharply lower as Amazon slumped following a gloomy quarterly report and as the biggest surge in monthly inflation since 2005 spooked investors already worried about rising interest rates.
Amazon.com Inc tumbled in its steepest one-day drop since 2006, leaving the widely held stock near two-year lows.
Late on Thursday, the e-commerce giant delivered a disappointing quarter and outlook, swamped by higher costs to run its warehouses and deliver packages.
Apple Inc, the world's most valuable company, dropped after its disappointing outlook overshadowed record quarterly profit and sales.
All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes fell, led lower by consumer discretionary and real estate.
Downbeat results and worries about aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve have hammered megacap technology and growth stocks this month.
"Market participants are nervous to begin with, so there is a quick trigger when it comes to these names when there's any uncertainty," said Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.
"When assumptions about these companies' growth fail to materialise, then there's definitely a 'shoot first and ask questions later' mentality."
The Nasdaq has lost about 13 per cent in April, its worst monthly performance since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Adding to worries on Wall Street, data showed the personal consumption expenditures price index - the US central bank's favoured measure of inflation - shot up 0.9 per cent in March after climbing 0.5 per cent in February.
The Fed is set to meet next week, with traders betting on a 50-basis-point rate hike to combat surging inflation.
Signs of aggressive monetary policy tightening, the Ukraine war and China's COVID-19 lockdowns have fuelled fears of an economic slowdown.
Data on Thursday showed the US economy unexpectedly contracted in the first quarter.
The S&P 500 lost 155.51 points, or 3.60 per cent, to end at 4,132.94 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 533.40 points, or 4.14 per cent, to 12,338.13 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 937.80 points, or 2.77 per cent, to 32,978.59.
Exxon Mobil Corp slipped after it took a $US3.4 billion ($A4.8 billion) writedown due to its exit from Russia.
Chevron Corp dropped after its first-quarter profit underwhelmed.
The first-quarter earnings season overall has been better than expected so far.
Nearly half of the S&P 500 companies have reported through Thursday and 81 per cent of them have topped Wall Street's expectations.
Typically, only 66 per cent beat estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
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