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April 29, 2022, 4:57 p.m. EDT

Dow, S&P 500 book worst April since 1970 as U.S. stocks close sharply lower

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By Christine Idzelis and William Watts

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Adding to inflation worries, U.S. employment cost index accelerated in the first quarter to 1.4%, from 1.0% in the final three months of 2021, according to data released by the Labor Department Friday.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s final reading of U.S. consumer sentiment in April slipped to 65.2 from an initial reading of 65.7, but still marked the first rise so far this year.

Friday’s economic data comes ahead of next week’s two-day Federal Reserve meeting, which many expect will conclude with a 50 basis-point interest-rate increase.

See: Fed’s half-percentage-point interest rate hike next week seen baked in the cake

Also, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his right-hand man Charlie Munger will be in the spotlight Saturday as investors return to Omaha for Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/208872451/composite BRK.A -0.59% /zigman2/quotes/201291426/delayed MX:BRKB -1.13% annual meeting. The event, dubbed “Woodstock for Capitalists,” had been held virtually the last two years due to COVID-19.

Don’t miss: 6 things to watch as Warren Buffett hosts ‘Woodstock for Capitalists’ on Saturday

Which companies were in focus?

  • Intel Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC -0.76% shares dropped 6.9%, after the chip maker stuck to its full-year outlook amid expected weakness this quarter.

  • Roku Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205087179/composite ROKU +1.21% shares rose 1.4%, after the maker of digital media reported forecast-beating fiscal first-quarter revenue and earnings largely in line with projections. 

  • Robinhood Markets Inc. shares /zigman2/quotes/228268942/composite HOOD -4.41% fell 2.8% after the brokerage missed first-quarter forecasts and said fewer people were trading on its online platform.

  • Tesla Inc. shares /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -6.63% declined 0.8%. CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Thursday that he has no plans to sell more stock, after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed he sold nearly $4 billion in stock of the electric car maker amid his $44 billion deal for Twitter.

  • Colgate-Palmolive Co. /zigman2/quotes/200774077/composite CL -0.57% shares dropped 5.1% after the consumer goods maker said a tough cost environment to continued to weigh on profit .

  • Chevron Corp. CVX shares fell 3.2% after revenues surged past expectations on a rise in oil and gas prices, but a rise in profit came in short of expectations . Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM missed profit estimates for the first quarter as it booked a $3.4 billion charge relating to its planned exit from Russia’s Sakhalin-1 project. Exxon shares slid 2.2%.

  • Honeywell International Inc. HON shares rose 1.9% after profit and revenue topped expectations and the aerospace and building products company lifted its outlook .

  • AbbVie Inc. ABBV shares dropped 6% after the drug maker’s revenues came in short of Wall Street expectations. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. BMY told investors to expect less revenue from its cancer drug Revlimid and lower adjusted earnings per share for the full year in 2022. Shares of Bristol-Myers fell 2.5%.

How did other assets fare?

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note  /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +4.62% rose 2.3 basis points Friday to 2.885%, following the latest inflation data. Yields and debt prices move opposite each other. The 10-year yield climbed 56.1 basis points in April, the largest monthly gain since December 2009 based on 3 pm Eastern Times levels, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index  DXY, -0.67% , a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.4%.

  • Oil futures ended lower Friday, with West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery   /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 -1.12% falling 0.6% to settle at $104.69 a barrel. Still, the U.S. oil benchmark booked a 2.6% gain for the week and rose 4.4% for the month .

  • Gold for June delivery   /zigman2/quotes/210034565/delayed GC00 +0.27% climbed 1.1% Friday to settle at $1,911.70 an ounce, but the yellow metal was down 1.2% for the week and fell 2.1% for the month.

  • Bitcoin  /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD +3.21% was down 3.8% at $38,410.

  • In European equities, the Stoxx Europe 600  /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.75% closed 0.7% higher Friday, but remained down 0.6% for the week and dropped 1.2% in April. London’s FTSE 100  /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.52% advanced 0.5% Friday for a weekly gain of 0.3% and a gain of 0.4% for the month.

  • The Shanghai Composite  /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.31% closed 2.4% higher Friday but still fell 1.3% for the week and shed 6.3% in April. The Hang Seng Index  /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.77% in Hong Kong jumped 4% Friday for a weekly gain of 2.2%, but booked a 4.1% drop in April. Japan’s Nikkei 225  /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.26% was closed for a national holiday on Friday, but the index is down 0.9% for the week and dropped 3.5% this month.

—Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.

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