Stocks Gain, But Amazon Slips

Stocks benefited from a sharp drop in oil prices on Wednesday, but was left behind as investors fretted about slowing growth and falling profits at the online retailing giant.

Amazon’s revenues rose 24% to $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter, but earnings fell 30% to 18 cents a share, as the company was hit by a $56 million tax expense and higher technology and other costs.

While some analysts remain hopeful that the company’s technology investment and other improvements will pay off in the long run, investors remained concerned about near-term results, sending the stock 3% lower on the day.

The broader market shook off an unexpectedly weak durable orders report to rally on falling oil prices.

The Nasdaq added 3 to 1930, the S&P 500 gained 4 to 1156, and the Dow rose 47 to 10,198. Volume rose to 2.13 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.82 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-15 on the NYSE, while decliners led 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53% on the NYSE, and 47% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 41-124 on the NYSE, and 27-203 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Openwave , LSI and Internet Security beat estimates. Siebel met lowered estimates, and JDS Uniphase , Cadence and Kronos warned.

During the day, Verizon rose 3.6% after the Dow component beat estimates.

Corning surged 8% after the company beat estimates and raised guidance.

Digital Insight , Manhattan Associates , Atmel and Entrust gained on their results.

Infospace plunged 27% on a warning.

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