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REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St down after record highs, Microsoft shares weigh
July 19, 2013 / 6:56 PM / 4 years ago

REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall St down after record highs, Microsoft shares weigh

* Microsoft, Google tumble after results miss

* GE jumps after profit beats

* Dow, S&P 500 retreat from record highs

* Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.03 pct, Nasdaq off 0.8 pts

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - The Dow and Nasdaq fell on Friday, led by losses in tech shares after disappointing results from Microsoft and Google.

The S&P 500 was flat, as better-than-expected results from General Electric Co and Schlumberger NV helped to offset the tech losses.

Microsoft Corp was the biggest drag on all three major indexes, with the Nasdaq showing the steepest declines. Google Inc also dragged on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Both reported earnings that fell short of expectations.

“It seems like (tech) may be the one area where companies haven’t gotten expectations sufficiently reduced,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.

“Stocks like Microsoft and Google I think were probably at the point where they had traded so nicely into earnings that people were really looking for something positive to be said.” Microsoft shares gained 21 percent in the second quarter, while Google was up 11 percent in the period.

In the absence of fresh economic data, the high-profile earnings disappointments in the tech sector prompted investors to lock in profits after some rosy results and reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday sent the Dow and S&P to record closing levels. The benchmark S&P is up more than 18 percent for the year.

Microsoft slumped 10.9 percent to $31.56, while Google lost 1.5 percent to $896.77. The S&P tech sector led declines, falling 2 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 18.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 15,529.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.58 points, or 0.03 percent, at 1,689.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 26.95 points, or 0.75 percent, at 3,584.33.

Also in the tech sector, Advanced Micro Devices Inc tumbled 14.9 percent to $3.95 after the company said gross margins would fall, even as the chipmaker forecast stronger-than-expected revenue growth in the third quarter.

Still, encouraging earnings reports from other companies helped keep the S&P 500 near break-even. Shares of General Electric rose 5 percent to $24.80 while shares of Schlumberger gained 5.9 percent to $83.09.

Analysts expect S&P 500 companies’ second-quarter earnings to have grown 2.9 percent from a year earlier, with revenue up 1.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Through Friday, of the 104 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings for the quarter, 65.4 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations, while 51 percent have topped revenue estimates.

Among other companies to report, Whirlpool Corp climbed 8.2 percent to $129.18 after raising its full-year outlook.

Intuitive Surgical Inc slid 9.1 percent to $383.47 after the company cut its 2013 sales forecast and said U.S. regulators had issued a warning after an inspection of its facilities.

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