Stocks Stumble on Weak Earnings, Job Losses
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Another day of job losses and weak earnings reports got August off to a rough start on Wall Street Friday.
Nortel (NYSE: NT) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) suffered double-digit percentage declines after the two said they face tough going amid economic headwinds, and General Motors (NYSE: GM) fell 8% after posting a huge second-quarter loss. GM and other automakers said sales were no better in July.
The government's monthly non-farm payrolls report showed a better than expected loss of 51,000 jobs in July, but that wasn't enough to rescue a stock market spooked by slowing growth and crumbling credit markets.
Next week, investors will have to contend with quarterly results from Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and a Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday, and results from AIG (NYSE: AIG) on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to refrain from raising interest rates despite inflation worries, and jobs data this week makes no action by the Fed even more likely.
Friday's trading session saw a number of standouts, however. McAfee (NYSE: MFE), ComScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), Comsys (NASDAQ: ITP), USA Mobility (NASDAQ: USMO) and Salary.com (NASDAQ: SLRY) all rose on their earnings reports.
RealNetworks (NASDAQ: RNWK) and KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC) fell on their results.
Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) shares were little changed on news that its directors were re-elected by a wide margin.
The Nasdaq fell 14 to 2310, the S&P lost 7 to 1260, and the Dow fell 51 to 11,326. Volume declined to 4.71 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.18 billion on the Nasdaq. Breadth was even on both exchanges. Downside volume was 55% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 35-141 on the NYSE, and 52-120 on the Nasdaq.