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Stock Market News Today: Sept. 16, 2019

By Timothy Green – Updated Sep 16, 2019 at 12:35PM

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Against the backdrop of a slumping stock market, New Relic and Amazon headed lower.

The stock market was down on Monday as oil prices spiked in reaction to a drone attack on critical Saudi Arabian infrastructure over the weekend. An 8-day streak of gains for the Dow appears likely to end.

Index

Change at 1:10 p.m. EDT

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.88%)

(0.51%)

S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.97%)

(0.37%)

Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%)

(0.36%)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

A few key stocks did even worse than the broader market. Software-as-a-service stock New Relic (NEWR 1.16%) underperformed thanks to a guidance cut, while shares of Amazon.com (AMZN 3.15%) edged lower after some unfortunate antitrust-related news.

New Relic cuts its guidance

The market doesn't quite know what to think about New Relic. The stock crashed early Monday after the software-as-a-service company announced management changes and lower full-year guidance, but it's since recovered the bulk of those losses. Shares of New relic were down as much as 14.4% Monday morning, but by 1:10 p.m. EDT they were down just 4.3%.

New Relic announced on Monday that its chief technology officer and chief revenue officer had both resigned. Board member Michael Christenson will be joining the company as president and chief operating officer. "I have confidence that these management changes will result in improved execution across the entire company," said CEO Lew Cirne.

While New Relic reiterated its guidance for the second quarter, it lowered its revenue estimates for the full year. The company now expects to produce revenue between $586 million and $593 million, down from a previous range of $600 million to $607 million. The new guidance implies a year-over-year growth rate between 22% and 24%. For comparison, the company grew revenue by 35% in the previous fiscal year.

Guidance cuts aren't a good look for growth companies, especially when they're paired with changes in the c-suite. New Relic will need to get a handle on its execution issues to regain the trust of investors.

Amazon gives antitrust regulators ammunition

With e-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon.com facing antitrust investigations in the U.S. and Europe, a report from The Wall Street Journal on Monday detailing Amazon's gaming of its product-search algorithms is the last thing the company needed. Amazon stock was down 1.8% at 1:10 p.m. EDT.

An Amazon delivery van.

Image source: Amazon.

The Journal reported on Monday that Amazon had changed its product-search algorithms to favor products with higher profit margins. Additionally, some divisions reportedly pressured search engineers to favor Amazon's private-label products over those from third-party merchants. Amazon's lawyers were against the change, since it could attract more antitrust scrutiny, and there was reportedly infighting between retail executives and the company's search team.

The Federal Trade Commission is currently interviewing third-party merchants to gauge whether Amazon is abusing its market power to hurt its competition. The interplay between Amazon's first-party retail business and its third-party marketplace business is at the heart of the U.S. antitrust investigation of the company.

One thing is clear: The worst-case scenario for Amazon looks pretty bad.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends New Relic. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$118.01 (3.15%) $3.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$29,683.74 (1.88%) $548.75
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,719.04 (1.97%) $71.75
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$10,829.50 (0.00%) $0.00
New Relic Stock Quote
New Relic
NEWR
$55.79 (1.16%) $0.64

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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