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The Independent Online
It was like something from a bygone era. A dot com beloved of investors issues disappointing results, and its shares crash in response. Only this wasn't 2001, it was last week.

The dot com in question was Amazon, the online bookseller, one of a tiny handful of internet companies to survive the tech collapse with a sound business model, strong sales and a solid brand. Since the bubble burst, Amazon's shares have steadily climbed on the back of normally respectable results and growth. It is now the world's largest internet retailer.

Which meant Wall Street was all the more shocked when Amazon revealed its fourth-quarter numbers. Profit growth missed forecasts and, the group said, after spending on shipping and software, costs would be up.

As various analysts pointed out, while Amazon may be a tech-boom survivor, it no longer dominates the market and competition is getting tougher. Investors therefore decided to sell and the stock dived 15 per cent. As for the wider market, the Nasdaq still managed to improve over the week, but the knock to sentiment meant that a serious shine was taken off the performance.