RealTime IT News

A Picky Market

It's been a tough earnings season, and no two stocks demonstrate that better than Microsoft and Amazon.com , two market leaders that took very different paths on Friday.

Microsoft surged 6% on its strongest quarter in years, while Amazon fell 5% on forward guidance that was so wide that investors took it as a sign that the company may disappoint.

It's become one picky market, where even leaders within the same sector can suffer wildly different fates, depending on how investors interpret their results.

And that's a problem for the market, which is more likely to produce lasting gains when leadership is broad-based.

Until that happens, the market will remain vulnerable, and stock-picking hazardous.

Stocks posted modest gains Friday after a much stronger than expected durable orders report rekindled inflation fears.

The Nasdaq gained 16 to 2049, the S&P 500 rose fractionally to 1140, and the Dow gained 11 to 10,472. Volume declined to 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.95 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 21-11 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 60% on the NYSE, and 35% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 105-158 on the NYSE, and 116-19 on the Nasdaq.

Corning , Broadcom , Microchip , Brooks Automation , Overstock , VeriSign and Scientific Atlanta gained on their earnings reports.

Emulex , PeopleSoft , Ericsson , Western Digital , TriQuint and RSA fell on their results.

Network Associates fell on a reorganization plan.

Sorrento Networks gained 18% on news that it will be acquired by Zhone Technologies .

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