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Amazon shares slump, Big Tech peers stay afloat

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's shares fell about 8% on Friday after forecasting holiday-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates, while its Big Tech peers recovered from a bruising selloff this week.

The online retailer, whose market cap briefly fell below $1 trillion, was last down 8.4% at $101.66, after hitting its lowest since April 2020.

Apple Inc, however, shone bright amid a crowd of dimming lights in the Big Tech space, as the iPhone maker reported revenue and profit that topped analysts' estimates.

Microsoft, Alphabet and Meta gained between 1.2% and 3.1% after their shares were battered this week following gloomy outlook from the companies.

The Big Tech stocks are on track to lose more than $400 billion this week.

Many view the megacap companies as bellwethers for how corporate America is faring during a year in which inflation has soared, pushing the U.S. Federal Reserve to enact a series of jumbo-sized rate hikes that have bruised markets.

Analysts fear macroeconomic factors, including a strong dollar, will continue to hit Amazon in the near term, however, over a longer period of time, the retailer should be able to bounce back.

"Despite accelerating revenues, Amazon has been cut down to size by the market after missing expectations. Efficiency has yet to return to the e-commerce business," Ben Barringer, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said.

While the cloud services segment has been one of high and sustained growth for tech companies, indications for Amazon, Microsoft and Intel Corp this week point to lower investments as costs rise.

Intel's shares rose about 7% after the chipmaker said its cost-reduction plan includes layoffs and is expected to lower costs by $3 billion next year.

However, analysts are cautious of how the company plans to cut costs.

Cost reductions are necessary, but Intel needs to focus on cutting spending in the right places and keep research and development investments high, Glenn O'Donnell, research director at Forrester, said.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram, Medha Singh, Sruthi Sankar and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)