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MarketWatch First Take: Amazon’s free-spending ways hit earnings, but don’t expect a shift to thrift

Amazon.com Inc. has been riding high the past few months, sending its market cap and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’s net worth to record levels. But the company’s free-spending ways took a big hit out of profit at the same time.

Amazon’s earnings plunged 77% in the second quarter as operating expenses jumped across the board, leading to its lowest quarterly net income since the third quarter of 2015. Expenses increased 28.2% from the same quarter a year ago and 7.5% from the quarter before, the type of spending increase Amazon usually sees in the second half of the year as it ramps up for and handles holiday-shopping orders.

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