NEW YORK (AP) — Disappointing results from Amazon.com and more trouble in overseas markets pushed U.S. stocks lower Friday afternoon, but the major indexes crawled back from the steep losses from earlier in the day.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,759 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,789 and the Nasdaq composite dropped eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,114.
GLOOMY JANUARY: Friday’s sell-off only adds to a tough January for investors. The Dow is now down 5.1 percent, while the S&P 500 has fallen 3.4 percent. Still, both indexes only recently hit all-time highs and aren’t close to a correction, a Wall Street term for a decline of 10 percent or more from a peak.
SOME OPTIMISM: The Dow had fallen by as much as 231 points earlier Friday, so losses were much less severe by the afternoon. Traders said this type of trading has happened several times this month.
“There’s still a large group of investors who ... think this market has legs in it and are using any pullback as a buying opportunity,” said Jonathan Corpina, a floor trader on the New York Stock Exchange with Meridian Equity Partners.
EUROPE SLUGGISH: An unexpected fall in eurozone inflation showed the recovery is still weak there. Official figures Friday showed the inflation rate in the 18-country eurozone dropped to 0.7 percent in December from 0.9 percent the previous month. That decline has reinforced fears that the eurozone is about to suffer a Japanese-style bout of deflation, which can be very difficult to reverse.
MORE TROUBLE FOR EMERGING MARKETS: The currencies for several countries fell against the dollar early as turmoil in emerging markets continued. By afternoon, the Turkish lira was down 0.2 percent against the dollar and the South African rand lost 0.9 percent.