Tech stocks weigh on shares

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NYSE tradersImage source, Reuters

US share markets ended the day mixed on Thursday as tech stocks took a step back.

After the bell Amazon reported quarterly results showing a 77% fall in profit as it expanded investment in video content and growing markets. But net sales were up 25%.

The Dow Jones managed to end in positive territory, up 86 points or 0.39% at 21,796.

The tech-focused Nasdaq index was 40 points or 0.6% lower at 6,382.

The wider S&P 500 index closed 2.41 points or 0.1% lower at 2,475.

Telecommunications giant Verizon was a major upward mover, however with share prices jumping 7.6% on strong subscriber numbers.

Facebook shares initially rose more than 5%, after the firm surprised analysts with stronger-than-expected growth in its advertising revenue late on Wednesday.

But its shares fell back to close only 2.9% higher.

Amazon, prior to its results release, also came off earlier highs which had briefly made boss Jeff Bezos the world's richest man. It ended 0.6% lower.

Twitter shares dropped precipitously. They fell 14% over the course of the day after the social media service's user figures disappointed.

Shares at budget carrier Spirit Airlines also plunged, down 17% after the firm said its standoff with pilots resulted in more than 850 cancelled flights and raised costs in the quarter by an estimated $45m. Negotiations with the pilots are continuing.