Many investors are surprised that the stock market is even open on the day after Thanksgiving, as so many people take the opportunity for a four-day weekend. Most years, Wall Street is fairly quiet on Black Friday, and even some provocative comments from the White House about Hong Kong weren’t enough to have too much of a negative impact on the holiday mood. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 62 points to 28,102. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell 6 points to 3,148, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) dropped 11 points to 8,694.
As the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday gets many investors to look closely at early signs of how the retail sector is doing. However, there were some other newsworthy things going on in the business world. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) had to deal with an outage in some of its most popular services during the Thanksgiving holiday, while protestors in the U.K. are criticizing Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) for practices they believe are unfair.
Facebook goes dark
Shares of Facebook were down less than 1% as the social media giant recovered from an outage that hit some of its most popular platforms during Thanksgiving. Although the company was able to restore service within hours, the timing was particularly inopportune for Facebook.
Users of Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger reported having issues with their services early Thursday. For some, sites wouldn’t load at all. For others, the services showed old messages but wouldn’t load new ones. The problems hit people in multiple countries across the globe.
No tech-related service ever achieves 100% uptime, and Facebook has dealt with outages in the past. In March, the company’s popular apps went down temporarily, raising concerns about whether Facebook was having trouble managing the immense amounts of traffic its services have to handle.
More recently, most of the attention Facebook has gotten has had more to do with issues of user privacy and responsibility for the content its users put on its platform. For regulators who are already ill-disposed toward the company, Facebook’s outage just adds another potential argument against the social media giant.
Europe holds Amazon protests
Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon.com were little changed Friday morning as the company faced protests in Europe. Workers in several European nations staged demonstrations against Amazon, taking advantage of Black Friday publicity to make their case.
Protestors made a variety of complaints. Some workers went on strike because of what they consider to be unfair pay levels and working conditions. Other activists used Amazon as a symbol of a global consumer culture that they find troubling, arguing that the e-commerce company’s business model has negative effects in areas such as climate and responsible resource management.
For its part, Amazon refuted the claims, arguing that it treats its workers well. It also said that customers can expect their orders to get delivered in a timely manner, as the majority of its employees are still on the job.
Amazon has tried to respond to climate crisis criticism in the past, signing onto a “climate pledge” earlier this year. Yet the protests still highlight the reputational challenges Amazon has, and it’ll have to continue working harder in order to keep younger generations of potential customers happy with the company.