Apple, TI Continue String of Earnings Disappointments

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) became the latest tech heavyweights to disappoint investors late Monday, as both issued guidance that was lower than Wall Street analysts were looking for.

Along with after-hours earnings misses from American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Merck (NYSE: MRK), Wall Street appeared headed for another sell-off when stocks open for trading on Tuesday.

Apple’s results soundly beat analysts’ estimates, but the company’s typically conservative guidance sent its shares falling by more than 6% after hours. TI’s report was worse, missing on results and guidance after what the chip company said was broad-based weakness in June, and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) matched TI’s 12% after-hours drop after posting an unexpected loss.

Following difficult reports from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) last week, technology’s ability to weather the downturn better than other sectors is getting tested.

Stocks finished modestly lower Monday despite better than expected results from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), as oil prices rebounded on Mideast tensions and tropical storm fears. Wachovia (NYSE: WB) and Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) will be important earnings reports for the broader market on Tuesday, with Wachovia reporting in the morning and WaMu after the close.

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), which will report its quarterly results Tuesday night, lost ground after investors concluded that a truce with activist investor Carl Icahn could mean lower odds for an outright acquisition by Microsoft.

The Nasdaq lost 3 to 2279, the S&P slipped a fraction to 1260, and the Dow lost 29 to 11,467. Volume fell to 4.46 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.89 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 21-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53% on the NYSE, and 51% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 22-110 on the NYSE, and 48-88 on the Nasdaq.

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