Wall Street sell-off intensified in the last hour of trading with the Dow closing down 940 points, the S&P 500 sinking 3.6%, and Nasdaq retreating 4.2% as investors digested disappointing results from Amazon and Apple. Amazon sunk more than 14% after reporting a surprise loss because of its investment in Rivian and issuing weak revenue guidance for Q2 2022. Also, Apple declined more than 3% after CFO Luca Maestri stated that supply chain constraints could impede fiscal third-quarter revenue. It has been a difficult month for the stocks with investors digesting the possibility of a 50bps interest rate hike in May from the Fed as the central bank seeks to tame runaway inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a resurgence of COVID in China. On the month, the Nasdaq sunk 13.3%, the most since October 2008; the S&P 500 declined more than 8.8%, the most since March 2020; and the Dow dropped 3.9%.
Canada’s main stock index, the S&P/TSX, closed 1.7% lower at 20,762 on Friday, in line with Wall Street, led by losses in industrials and the technology sector. Among single stocks, NFI Group tumbled over 15% after the company said earnings and sales are now expected to be lower in 2022 as supply shortages force the company to curb production. Also, auto parts manufacturer Magna International shed 3.5% after lowering its full-year profit forecast, citing impacts from the global semiconductor chip shortage and rising raw material costs. Meanwhile, traders gauged upbeat GDP data, with first-quarter preliminary estimates suggesting a 5.6% expansion, which would top most forecasts, including a 3% growth projection by the Bank of Canada. For the month, the Toronto-based index booked a 5.2% drop, while losing 2% on a weekly basis.
The main Sao Paulo Index, Ibovespa, reversed early gains to close 1.4% lower at 108,406 on Friday, tracking a negative sentiment in Wall street.Earlier, main support came from commodity-linked companies including Vale and Petrobras, which reduced gains and even fell during the session. On the domestic economic front, the unemployment rate in Brazil stood at 11.1% in the three months to March of 2022, unchanged from the previous period and below market forecasts of 11.4%. On the month, the Ibovespa lost 9.7%. Meanwhile, the IPC Mexico decreased 1854 points or 3.48% since the beginning of 2022.
European stocks finished the last trading day of April on a high note, with the regional STOXX 600 and the DAX 30 advancing 0.7% each, driven by consumer and materials stocks. The immediate catalyst for the move was a fresh economic stimulus pledge from China and a slew of upbeat earnings. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s Q1 sales surprised on the upside, as new therapies for kidney disease and rare conditions offset expected lower COVID-19 vaccine sales. Johnson Matthey jumped almost 20% after standard Investments, the investment arm of Standard Industries in the United States, acquired a 5.23% stake in the British chemicals company. On the data front, eurozone inflation hit a record high for the sixth consecutive month in April. Meantime, its economy expanded by 0.2 % in the first three months of 2022, the least since the bloc exited a recession last year. Still, the DAX 30 index ended Abril roughly 0.5% lower to post its fourth consecutive monthly decline.
The FTSE 100 closed 0.5% higher at 7,545 in the last session of April, in line with its European peers, as investors gauged another slew of UK earnings, while cautiously awaiting the Bank of England meeting next week. Industrial software maker Aveva Group was the top gainer with a 5.9% surge. Paper packaging business Smurfit Kappa Group added more than 4.3% after reporting a more than 30% jump in revenues in the first quarter. British state-backed lender NatWest Q1 pre-tax profits jumped 41% to £1.2 billion on higher interest incomes, well above analyst forecasts of £0.8 billion. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca reported core EPS of $1.89, beating market forecasts of $1.70 as sales came higher than expected, and confirmed its 2022 outlook. On the data front, a closely-watched survey showed UK house price growth slowing more than expected in April amid the ongoing squeeze on household incomes and rising interest rates. On the month, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4%.
The CAC 40 index closed 0.4% higher to at 6,533 level on Friday, supported by the auto sector and a rebound for luxury consumer goods as investors digested earnings publications and a batch of macroeconomic data. Saint Gobain gained 1.4%, after announcing an accelerated growth in revenue for the first quarter and confirming it expects further expansion in 2022. At the same time, the heavyweight luxury goods sector rebounded after Chinese authorities pledged support to the economy as strict lockdowns dented projections in the sector. Despite easing from intraday highs, Kering led the sector to close 1.4% up. Still, the CAC 40 index finished April nearly 2% lower. On the macroeconomic front, the French GDP unexpectedly stagnated in the first quarter of 2022, while annual consumer inflation accelerated to 4.8% in April, above preliminary estimates and tracking broader Eurozone figures.