Wall Street Pulls Back on Friday

(AP) -- Stocks are falling in early trading on Wall Street Friday as major U.S. companies provide details of how the coronavirus is disrupting their businesses.

The S&P 500 was down 2% after the first half-hour of trading, following losses in London and Tokyo. Treasury yields rose, while crude oil prices continued to yo-yo.

Amazon sank 5.8% after it reported profit for the latest quarter that fell short of Wall Street's forecasts. It also said it will spend billions of dollars this quarter to pay workers overtime, buy masks for them and make other investments. Because of its gigantic value, Amazon alone accounted for one seventh of the entire loss of the S&P 500.

Apple spooked some investors when it did not provide a financial forecast for the current quarter, citing all the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The stock had a weak open but then managed to turn slightly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 468 points, or 1.9%, at 23,876, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq was down 2.2%.

The S&P 500 is nevertheless close to ending the week with its third gain in the last four. It's clinging to a 0.7% gain for the week.

Stocks have been rallying recently as economies around the world lay out plans to relax stay-at-home orders and as hopes rise that a possible drug treatment for COVID-19 may be on the horizon. They added onto earlier gains sparked by massive aid promised by the Federal Reserve and Congress, and the U.S. stock market just closed out its best month in 33 years.

The U.S. stock market has more than halved its sharp losses from its February record into late March, triggered by worries about a sudden, devastating recession.

Many professional investors say the rally has been overdone given how much uncertainty still exists about how long the recession will last. If U.S. states and nations around the world reopen their economies prematurely, it may lead to additional waves of infections, which could mean just more business closures, layoffs and economic devastation.

London's FTSE 100 fell 1.9%, and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 2.8%.

In Japan, the government is keeping social distancing measures in place to prevent a resurgence of infections.

Australia's market was one of the few others open Friday, and its S&P/ASX 200 plunged 5% with heavy losses in miners and banks. A measure of Australian manufacturing showed activity contracting at its worst pace since 2009.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to 0.63% from 0.62% late Thursday.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil inched up 0.6% to $18.95 per barrel after swinging between $18.07 and $20.48 earlier in the morning. They're the latest severe swings for U.S. crude, which has plunged from its perch of roughly $60 at the start of the year on worries about a collapse in demand and strained storage facilities.

Brent crude, the international standard, rose 1.3%, to $26.80 per barrel.