Friday saw the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) break its five-day streak of gains, as investors yawned at the GDP numbers released by the Commerce Department today. Not only was the 2.5% growth rate in the first quarter underwhelming and below most expectations, but corporate earnings also failed to spark much optimism, and the S&P lost 2 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1,582 Friday. A few notable laggards led the way lower.
Only on Wall Street can a company like Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) beat expectations, only to see its shares crater 7.2% afterwards. The bearish tone came on fears that the online retail giant's slowing sales growth spells a not-so-rosy future. The trend is hard to deny: Sales rose 22% in the most recent period, compared with a 34% surge in the same period a year ago.
With shares in semiconductor companies among some of the day's biggest losers, KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) fit right in, slipping 6.8%. If there's one thing investors hate more than falling sales, it's a mix of falling sales and declining profits, a double-whammy of negativity that shareholders clearly weren't expecting Friday. Several analysts lowered their price estimates on the shares following the earnings report, which certainly didn't help the stock's performance.
Quarterly results, or a lack thereof, were also the Achilles' heel of Eastman Chemical (NYSE:EMN), which shed 5.1% today. Earnings actually came in above expectations, but sales numbers just didn't cut it, even though the company reported higher revenue in every single geographic region it reports in. Asia especially stood out as a segment of rapid growth, with those sales rocketing more than 50% higher. Although 48% sales growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa isn't too shabby, either, especially considering the macroeconomic worries and political instability surrounding those parts of the world.
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