Google Rescues Stocks
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An early sell-off Friday on worries about GE (NYSE: GE) and global economic growth turned out to be a buying opportunity, as stocks opened near their lows and spent the rest of the day climbing higher.
Technology investors had the most to cheer about, as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) propelled the Nasdaq to a 0.8% gain after the company joined Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) as one of the few bright spots in a dismal earnings reporting season. Google shares gained 6% after the company beat earnings and sales estimates after factoring out an impairment charge.
Google's results along with hopes for quick passage of the Obama administration's planned stimulus package were good enough to encourage investors even as GE fell 10% on dividend and credit worries and the UK reported a 1.5% drop in fourth-quarter GDP.
U.S. fourth-quarter GDP next week is expected to show a steep 5% decline. Next week will also see a long list of earnings reports from names like Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), EMC (NYSE: EMC), Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA), Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN).
AMD (NYSE: AMD) gained 2.5% despite another tough quarter, while Samsung's first quarterly loss followed losses by Sony and LG Electronics, signaling a weak electronics market.
Satyam (NYSE: SAY) jumped 60% on hopes for new funding.
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) gained 8.7% despite lowering guidance, but Microsemi (NASDAQ: MSCC) fell 21% on its outlook.
Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW) jumped 27% on a favorable patent ruling.
The Nasdaq rose 12 to 1477, the S&P 500 gained 4 to 831, and the Dow lost 45 to 8077. Volume declined to 6.83 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.23 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 20-17 margin on the NYSE, but decliners held a 14-13 edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 66% on the NYSE, and 75% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 11-172 on the NYSE, and 5-169 on the Nasdaq.