RealTime IT News

Amazon Soars as Stocks Tumble

Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) was one of the very few bright spots for the stock market on Friday, soaring nearly 18% as the Dow finished its worst January ever on a down note.

Amazon gained on results that suggest that the company is one of the best-positioned retailers to thrive in the economic downturn.

And what a downturn it is. The U.S. Commerce Department reported today that fourth-quarter GDP was down 3.8%, the steepest decline in 27 years. The report was better than expected only because of rising inventories, which isn't good news for the current quarter. Business investment fell 20.1%, while investment in equipment and software dropped 27.8%, the weakest in 50 years. And the global economic news was no better, with soaring European unemployment and plunging industrial output in Japan.

Stocks were also hit on reports that the government's latest bank rescue plan could be hitting a snag. The Dow lost 8.8% for the month, the worst month of January for the index in its 113-year history.

Amazon wasn't the only company to gain on its quarterly earnings report. Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK), KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC), Ariba (NASDAQ: ARBA) and PMC-Sierra climbed on their results.

But Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR), Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP) and Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) fell on their results.

Juniper's results weighed on Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), which will release its earnings report next Wednesday.

The Nasdaq fell 31 to 1476, the S&P 500 lost 19 to 825, and the Dow fell 148 to 8000. Volume rose to 6.19 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.14 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-9 margin on the NYSE, and 18-9 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 86% on the NYSE, and 80% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 8-130 on the NYSE, and 4-123 on the Nasdaq.