- Ukraine tensions rise as US threatens more sanctions
- Amazon.com, Visa, Ford fall sharply
- Consumer sentiment rises, Markit PMI falls
Dow Jones: -0.57%
S&P 500: -0.39%
Heightened tensions between Russia and the West dampened US stocks on Friday, along with a host of disappointing corporate earnings and mixed economic data.
Wall Street heavyweights Amazon.com, Visa and Ford were all registering steep losses shortly after the 'opening bell' after missing estimates with their quarterly results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 0.6% lower, the Nasdaq fell 0.9%, while the S&P 500
President Barack Obama said today that he would consult with European leaders about the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and threatened Russia with more sanctions after Moscow ordered new military exercises along its border.
US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia yesterday of making an "expensive mistake" if it does not take steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.
Standard & Poor's also downgraded its foreign and local currency rating for Russia on the back of capital outflows that put the country's economic growth at risk and warned that additional sanctions could result in a further downgrade.
Goldman Sachs was also dampening sentiment Stateside after cutting its forecast for US economic growth in the first quarter from 1.5% to 1%.
In economic data, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer confidence index jumped to 84.1 in April, revised higher from the preliminary reading of 82.6 and March's final figure of 80. Analysts had expected a smaller rise to 83.
However, Markit's US services purchasing managers' index (PMI) declined from 55.3 to 54.2 in April, surprising analysts who had expected a small rise to 55.5.
This pushed the composite PMI, which measures both the services and manufacturing sectors, down to 54.9 from 55.7 the month before.
Amazon.com, Visa, Ford
Online retail merchant Amazon.com dropped sharply today, registering losses of around 8%, after failing to impress with a better-than-expected 23% rise in first-quarter revenues. Earnings were in line with expectations but the company warned that spending on investments will probably result in a second-quarter operating loss.
Credit card group Visa dropped after missing second-quarter revenues and profits both missed consensus forecasts. The company said that a strong US dollar
and tough comparatives from last year due to non-recurring items weighed on growth.
Ford also disappointed as the auto maker reported a drop in profits worse than expected, as it blamed safety recalls and weather-related costs.
West Texas Intermediate futures were down 0.7% at $100.70 a barrel on the NYMEX.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury was down one basis point at 2.66%.