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U.S. Stocks Close Mostly Lower Amid Steep Drop By Amazon

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After coming under pressure at the start of trading, stocks remained mostly lower over the course of the session on Friday. With the pullback on the day, the major averages offset the strength seen in the previous session.

The major averages all finished the day firmly in negative territory. The Dow fell 149.06 points or 0.4 percent to 34,935.47, the Nasdaq slid 105.59 points or 0.7 percent to 14,672.68 and the S&P 500 dropped 23.89 points or 0.5 percent to 4,395.26.

For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped by 1.1 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 both decreased by 0.4 percent.

However, the major averages all posted strong gains for the month of July. The S&P 500 surged up by 2.3 percent, while the Dow and the Nasdaq jumped by 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

A steep drop from Amazon (AMZN) weighed on the markets, with the online retail giant plunging by 7.6 percent to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

The nosedive by Amazon came after the company reported second quarter earnings that beat expectations, but its revenues missed estimates for the first time since the third quarter of 2018.

Shares of Pinterest (PINS) also moved sharply lower after the image-sharing website operator reported better than expected second quarter earnings and revenues but a quarterly decline in monthly average users.

Caterpillar (CAT), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) also moved to the downside despite reporting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates.

On the other hand, Procter & Gamble (PG) posted a strong gain after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results, although the consumer products giant also warned about the impact of higher input costs.

In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report unexpectedly showing a slight increase in personal income in the month of June.

The report showed personal income inched up by 0.1 percent in June after tumbling by a revised 2.2 percent in May.

The uptick surprised economists, who had expected personal income to dip by 0.3 percent compared to the 2.0 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said personal spending jumped by 1.0 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.

Economists had expected personal spending to increase by 0.7 percent compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed the annual rate of core consumer price growth crept up to 3.5 percent in June from 3.4 percent in May.

Revised data released by the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in U.S. decreased by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of July.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for July was upwardly revised to 81.2 from a preliminary reading of 80.8 but remains below the June reading of 85.5. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

Sector News

Retail stocks saw substantial weakness amid the steep drop by Amazon, with the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index plunging by 3.2 percent to its lowest closing level in a month.

Significant weakness was also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 3.1 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Energy stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day even though the price of crude oil for September delivery rose $0.33 to $73.95 a barrel.

Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index tumbled by 2.8 percent, while the NYSE Arca Oil Index and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index fell by 1.6 percent.

Steel, banking and utilities stocks also saw notable weakness on the day, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.8 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries moved higher after ending the previous session roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 3 basis points to 1.239 percent.

Looking Ahead

The monthly jobs report is likely to be in the spotlight next week, while traders will also keep an eye on reports on manufacturing and service sector activity, factory orders and the U.S. trade deficit.

Trading may also be impacted by reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, with a slew of well-known companies due to report their quarterly results.

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