Dell Drags Down Techs

An analyst’s downgrade of Dell and rising oil prices overshadowed a solid quarter from Google on Friday.

Dell fell 4% on a Citigroup “sell” rating that said the company may need to cut prices and accept lower margins to regain market share.

“The slow, steady erosion of Dell’s cost advantage combined with the company’s heavy exposure to saturated portions of the global market explain the recent collapse in Dell’s unit growth premium versus the global PC market,” said analyst Richard Gardner.

Streamlined competitors and falling component prices have reduced Dell’s pricing advantage to just a few percentage points, Gardner wrote.

Dell shares have been plagued by multiple earnings disappointments since last fall.

Google, meanwhile, gained 5% on results that handily beat Wall Street estimates.

The tech sector shed 1% on the day, while blue chips gave back most of their early gains on solid results from 3M .

The Nasdaq fell 19 to 2342, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1311, and the Dow added 4 to 11,347. Volume declined to 2.39 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 2.32 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-15 on the NYSE, while decliners led 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 28% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 290-88 on the NYSE, and 222-34 on the Nasdaq.

Sierra Wireless and MRO Software soared on their earnings reports.

Broadcom , SanDisk , VeriSign , Foundry , Cree , F5 , Hyperion and Hutchinson fell on their results.

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