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Stocks fall on Friday, but S&P 500 gains 5% in April

The major averages slipped on Friday as investors took profits amid a flurry of earnings results and a robust profit beat from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% to 4,181.17, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 185.51 points to close at 33,874.85. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9% to 13,962.68.

Despite Friday’s weakness in equities, the S&P 500 notched its third straight month of gains in April, adding more than 5% to the index as investors bet on a big economic and profit recovery from the pandemic. The S&P 500 is now up 11% for the year. The benchmark closed at record levels on Thursday on the heels of blowout earnings results from Apple and Facebook.

The Dow rose about 2.7% this month, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 5.4% in April.

Amazon, the last of Wall Street’s mega-cap tech companies to publish results, reported a record first-quarter profit. The Seattle-based firm said profits more than tripled to $8.1 billion and January-to-March sales soared 44% to $108 billion. The results blew past Wall Street’s expectations with the company earning $15.79 per share vs. the consensus estimate of $9.54.

Amazon’s results showed demand remained strong for its massive online retail business even as the economy started to open up some. Still, Amazon shares, up 40% in 12 months, closed in the red on Friday.

Twitter, meanwhile, plunged on user growth results and second-quarter revenue guidance that fell short of analysts’ forecasts. The social media platform said monetizable daily active users totaled 199 million during the three months ended March 31 and reported per-share earnings of 16 cents. Twitter fell 15.2% on Friday.

Apple came under some slight pressure after the European Union said the company’s App Store was breaching its competition rules. The shares dropped 1.5%.

More strong economic data was released on Friday, continuing a trend that’s lifted stocks all month. March spending jumped a better-than-expected 4.2%, while personal incomes surged by a massive 21.1% amid more fiscal stimulus.