NEW YORK Oct 5 Small- and mid-capitalization
stocks closed flat to lower o n Friday, with shares of Zynga
falling 12 percent after it slashed its 2012 outlook
for a second time.
A spate of recent profit warnings from companies have added
to anxiety about the upcoming corporate earnings period.
Standard & Poor's 500 earnings kick off next week, with results
from Alcoa, shortly before the small- and mid-cap reports
begin in earnest.
Shares of Zynga fell 12 percent to $2.48 after the social
games maker cut its 2012 outlook for a second time on the poor
performance of its live Internet games and the writeoff of an
Shares of Facebook, which derives over a tenth of its
revenue from fees paid by Zynga, fell 4.7 percent to $20.91.
Earlier this week, network gear maker Adtran said
seasonality and a weak spending environment may lead to a fall
in fourth-quarter revenue. Its shares slipped 2.9 percent to
Doug Cote, chief market strategist of ING Investment
Management in New York, warned investors against getting too
pessimistic on earnings.
"There certainly is a risk of negative corporate earnings
but there are mitigating factors right now, and the biggest
factor is the unprecedented global monetary stimulus that
happened over the past few weeks. And what I see is that is
starting to have a positive influence," he said.
Among some positive reports on the economy lately, data on
Friday showed the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly dropped to 7.8
percent in September.
The S&P MidCap 400 index was up 0.02 percent while
the S&P SmallCap 600 index was down 0.2 percent. In
comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 was down 0.03 percent.