Weak Amazon Outlook Sinks the Market
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The online retailing/cloud computing/video streaming/grocery distribution giant handily beat estimates for the fourth quarter but gave a slightly less upbeat outlook for the coming quarter than analysts were expecting. The stock fell 5.35 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.
Amazon is now back in bear market territory, down more than 20 percent from its high set in early September. It remains, however, the most valuable public company (worth $795 billion) by a slight margin over Apple and Microsoft.
The rest of the technology sector had mixed results today. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.25 percent while the Dow and S&P 500 indexes were up 0.26 percent and 0.09 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ was down 0.89 percent on the day.
The stock market was not particularly impressed with strong January jobs data released this morning. The economy added 304,000 new jobs versus expectations of 170,000. That's often good news for corporate sales, profits and stock prices, but it may have also renewed fears of another interest rate hike from the Fed this year.
The oil market definitely responded positively to the news. The strong jobs numbers along with the sanctions reducing oil supply from Venezuela and a lower oil-rig count in U.S. energy basins lifted the price of crude by TK percent. It just recorded its best January on record rising 18 percent and is up 23 percent since Christmas Eve.
Oil and gas producer Hess Corp. continues to benefit from the trend. It was up 3.07 percent today -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™. It is now up a staggering 57 percent since the day after Christmas.
David Simon, CEO of Simon Property Group, put a scare into the commercial real estate market this morning. His company met estimates for the fourth quarter but like Amazon, gave lower guidance on its outlook than the market expected. "There are some retailers out there we're nervous about," Mr. Simon said on the earnings conference call. At the top of his worry list are surely Sears and J.C. Penney, two struggling franchises that still serve as anchor tenants for many large shopping centers like those that Simon manages. The stock fell more than three percent in morning trading but closed the day down 1.6 percent.
The rest of the REIT sector fell as well, with eight of nine REITs on the Entrepreneur Index™ declining today. Kimco Realty Corp. (0.88 percent), was the only one to post a gain. Retailers also fell with Costco Wholesale Group, (-2.03 percent) and Walmart, (-2.06 percent), both down sharply.
The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.