Wall Street Watch: Amazon and Starbucks Diverge, Spain’s Credit Rating Slashed

Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) first quarter net income jumped 81 percent to 5.05 trillion won, exceeding analyst expectations thanks to strong Galaxy sales burying its declining chip business earnings. From 44.5 million Galaxy shipments, Samsung regained the lead from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the segment and with its overall volume of 93.5 million units, Samsung overtook Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) 14-year reign as the largest vendor of mobile phones according to Strategy Analytics.

Amazon.Com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares surged nearly 15 percent after hours as the world’s largest online retailer reported impressive first-quarter earnings after the closing bell. Net income for the quarter was $130 million (28 cents per share), compared to $201 million (44 cents per share) a year earlier. Although profits declined, the results beat expectations. Revenue also jumped 33.8 percent to $13.19 billion.

Don’t Miss: Your Cheat Sheet to Amazon.com Earnings >>

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) reported a higher quarterly profit, but sales from cafes open at least one-year in Europe declined. Earnings for the fiscal second quarter came in at $309.9 million (40 cents per share), compared to $261.6 million (34 cents per share) a year earlier. For more, check out OUCH! Starbucks Earnings Miss the Mark >>

Regulators are expanding their investigation into the possible involvement of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) employees in the Galleon Group insider trading ring, according to the Wall Street Journal. Investigators have their eye on whether a senior investment banker gave Galleon traders advance knowledge of pending healthcare deals. The banker, identified as Matthew Korenberg, is a San Francisco-based managing director for Goldman–a senior role.

S&P cut Spain’s debt rating by two notches to “BBB+” from “A” on a negative outlook. The agency said that the country’s “budget trajectory will likely deteriorate against a background of economic contraction in contrast with our previous projections.” Adding to Spain’s woes, its unemployment increased to 24.4 percent in the first quarter, up from the 22.9 percent in the fourth quarter. This represented its highest figure in 18 years.

The People’s Bank of China has enabled the yuan to hit a second consecutive record day against the dollar with its exchange rate set at 6.2787. The move came after the Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, asked the Bank on Thursday to allow the renminbi to additionally appreciate ; this comes as China’s economy undergoes a slowdown.

Merger deals under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission: the 2009 acquisition by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) of Advanced Medical Optics and the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. by Fresenius (FRE).