New York • Stocks fell sharply in early trading Friday, as investors fretted over disappointing earnings from companies like Amazon.com and more trouble in overseas markets.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 220 points, or 1.4 percent, to 15,632 in the first 15 minutes of trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 20 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,774 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 42 points, or 1 percent, to 4,080.
GLOOMY JANUARY: It’s the last trading day in January and it’s been a tough month for investors. The Dow is down more than 5 percent, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4 percent.
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, as the turmoil in emerging markets flared up once again. The Turkish lira was down 0.5 percent against the dollar and the South African rand lost 1 percent. The euro lost 0.4 percent against the dollar — a big move in the world of foreign exchange.
BAD NEWS FROM RETAILERS: Amazon.com fell $27.60, or 7 percent, to $374.76. The online shopping giant said its profit and revenue grew in the latest quarter but the results fell below what Wall Street was expecting. Meanwhile Wal-Mart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, said its earnings may be below the low end of its prior forecasts. Wal-Mart was down $1.01, or 1.5 percent, to $73.75.
ZYNGA JUMPS: The video game company Zynga said Thursday it is buying NaturalMotion, the company behind the hit mobile games “CSR Racing” and “Clumsy Ninja,” and would cut 15 percent of its workforce in a turnaround effort. The news sent Zynga shares soaring, up 85 cents, or 24 percent, to $4.42.