Dow starts May on a sour note, sheds 600+ points as coronavirus fears resurface

Stocks were lower Friday after the latest batch of corporate earnings results and economic data revealed more damage from the coronavirus pandemic. News late in the session that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had granted Gilead’s antiviral treatment remdesivir emergency use authorization to treat patients with COVID-19 did little to move the needle on equities.

Investors also sold equities amid concerns over a potential increase in U.S.-China tensions.

  • Earlier, earnings results from some of the most heavily weighted companies in the major U.S. stock indices came in mixed. Amazon (AMZN) posted first-quarter sales that jumped 26% over last year, but warned that $4 billion in expected coronavirus-related costs could drag operating income negative to the tune of $1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) reported quarterly revenue growth that slowed dramatically over last year, and declined to offer an outlook for the first time in years due to uncertainty over the pandemic. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended Friday’s session lower by 3.2%

  • Oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron each posted weaker results compared to last year as the economic devastation from the coronavirus and recent plunge in crude oil prices weighed on the companies. Exxon Mobil posted its first quarterly loss in decades, and Chevron cut its capital expenditure plans for the year by another $2 billion.