Markets

S&P 500 closes Friday lower as Amazon shares slide, but notches sixth straight positive month

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U.S. stocks fell on Friday amid a slide in Amazon shares, but the S&P 500 notched its sixth straight positive month.

The broad equity benchmark fell 0.5% to 4,395.26, dragged down by the consumer discretionary and energy sectors. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.7% to 14,672.68. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 149.06 points, or 0.4%, to 34,935.47.

Amazon sank nearly 7.6% after it reported its first quarterly revenue miss in three years and gave weaker guidance. Pinterest fell even further, down 18.2%, after saying it lost monthly users during the three months ended June 30.

The major averages managed to wrap up a solid month, although volatility has picked up amid concerns about the economic recovery in the face of the spreading delta variant. The Nasdaq and Dow added about 1.2% and 1.3% respectively in July, while the broad S&P 500 gained close to 2.3% over the same period. Utilities, health care, real estate and technology stocks have led the S&P 500 higher for the month, while energy and financials have lagged.

"There has been quite a bit of volatility and price choppiness in the market in recent weeks," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO, said in a note. "Increased concerns over the delta variant and its potential implications for reopening momentum seemed to play a key role in the price action, while peak themes related to economic growth, earnings, and policy support also remained an overhang on risk sentiment."

Investors digested a key inflation indicator that showed better-than-feared price pressures on Friday. The core personal consumption expenditures price index rose 3.5% in June year over year. It marked a sharp acceleration in inflation, but came in slightly below a Dow Jones expectation of a 3.6% jump.

Weaker-than-expected readings on the U.S. economy further eased concerns about the Federal Reserve dialing back asset purchases.

U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate. Meanwhile, the latest weekly jobless claims also came in higher than expected.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday noted that while the economy has come a long way since the Covid-19 recession, it still has a ways to go before the central bank considers adjusting its easy-money policies.

Procter & Gamble shares rose nearly 2% after the consumer giant topped analysts' estimates for quarterly earnings and revenue. However, the company warned that increasing commodity costs could hit its earnings in the upcoming year.

Shares of online brokerage Robinhood rebounded shy of 1% in volatile trading on Friday after closing its debut session 8% lower.