Equities End Mixed as Amazon Dents Nasdaq, Blue-Chip Earnings Bolsters Dow


Equities were mixed on Friday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dented by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) declines while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was bolstered by earnings among its components.

Amazon.com, Inc.(AMZN) recorded price-target cuts from Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer and Wedbush Securities Friday after guiding for first-quarter sales below Wall Street’s estimates. The e-commerce giant stock fell 5.4% by the close, the biggest decline on the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor’s 500, which ended slightly higher on the day.

On the Dow, Merck (MRK) rose 2.7% after beating Street estimates with fourth-quarter results. Oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM) climbed 3.6% after a mixed quarterly outcome and an increase in production, while Chevron (CVX) beat on the top and bottom lines, ending 3.2% higher.

That bolstered the blue-chip measure, sending it to the highest close since Dec. 3, and sending it above its 200-day moving average.

On the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the S&P 500 rose 1.6% and the Nasdaq was up 1.4%.

“The re-opening of the US government, the dovish FOMC statement, progress in the US-China trade talks and a strong January payroll report all helped to boost sentiment,” Ksenia Bushmeneva, an economist with TD Economics, said in a note. “Global growth concerns persisted this week, but the US economy continued to move along nicely.”

The US added 304,000 jobs in January, well ahead of expectations for 158,000, although December’s number was revised down to 222,000 from 312,000. Manufacturing activity expanded in January, rising 2.3 points to 56.6, beating expectations for a 54 print.

In company news, Proofpoint (PFPT) rose 12% after Wedbush raised its price target on the stock a day after the firm reported better-than-expected results. Sony (SNE) fell 7.9% after lowering its sales forecast for fiscal 2019.

By the close, the Dow was up 0.3%, the S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.3%.