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Stocks decline as Amazon results miss forecasts

Stocks fell, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down from a record, as earnings at Amazon.com Inc. and Visa Inc. missed estimates and durable goods data fueled concern corporate investment remains stop and go.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) plunged 9.7 percent after trailing analysts’ predictions for the second successive quarter.

Visa (NYSE: V) sank 3.7 percent after lowering its full-year revenue forecast.

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) slid 10 percent after the number of active listeners reported by the biggest Internet radio service missed some analysts’ estimates.

Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) rose 11 percent after earnings topped projections.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.5 percent to 1,978.34. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123.23 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,960.57 Friday.

About 5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges Friday, 12 percent below the three-month average.

The S&P 500 closed little changed for the week. The gauge was up 0.5 percent over the past four days as corporate earnings reports boosted confidence in the economy and inflation data signaled the Federal Reserve won’t be compelled to raise interest rates in the near future.

The Fed will announce its next policy decision at the end of a two-day meeting Wednesday.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that the central bank must continue stimulus with record easing to combat persistent weakness in the job market.

A report Aug. 1 will show employers added 230,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate held at 6.1 percent, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The S&P 500 has advanced 7 percent this year, as the U.S. economy shows signs of recovering from a 2.9 percent contraction in the first quarter. Investors will get a reading on second-quarter growth July 30.

Data on Friday showed orders for U.S. business equipment rose in June following a revised drop the prior month, indicating corporate investment could hold back growth.

Investors have also been watching geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine. The United States on Friday accused Russia of shelling Ukrainian military positions across its border, raising tensions after the ruling coalition in Kiev broke apart.

Eleven companies on the S&P 500 reported earnings Friday. Of the members that have posted results so far, 79 percent have beaten estimates for profit and 66 percent have exceeded projections for sales.

“The results season has been going fine, not spectacular, but fine,” Matthew Beesley, head of global equities at Henderson Global Investors Holdings Ltd., said.

“There’s a worry that growth is slowing worldwide, so people have been watching corporate data very closely. It’ll be the financial results that will be moving markets, as none of the geopolitical events going on right now have much effect.”

Amazon tumbled 9.7 percent, the most since April. The world’s largest online retailer reported a second-quarter loss of $126 million, compared with the average estimate by analysts for $66.7 million, as its cloud-computing business showed signs of cooling and investments in new distribution warehouses and gadgets curtailed earnings.

“I’m not overly concerned with Amazon’s losses,” said Patrick Spencer, managing director and head of U.S. equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. “They’re focusing on building a business rather than reaping short-term earnings.”

Visa dropped 3.6 percent. The world’s largest payments network said revenue for the accounting year ending Sept. 30 may climb 9 percent to 10 percent from a year earlier. That’s lower than an April forecast of 10 percent to 11 percent.

Pandora lost 10 percent for the steepest drop in three months. The number of active listeners grew 7.5 percent to 76.4 million users in the second quarter, the company said Thursday. That missed the 76.6 million estimate of Corey Barrett, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, and a projection of 77 million by Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital Markets.

Baidu advanced 11 percent, rising for a sixth day to extend an all-time high. The operator of China’s largest Internet search service reported second-quarter net income of $572.5 million, beating the analysts’ average prediction.

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