GE Can’t Bring Bulls to Life

Better than expected results from GE (NYSE: GE) on Friday showed that upcoming earnings reports — at least from non-financial companies — may do little to help the stock market, as investors remain worried about the health of the financial sector.

Stocks plunged more than 2% early Friday on fears that Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) and Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) could fail, then rallied back to break-even on unconfirmed reports that the Federal Reserve had offered emergency funding to the banking giants. The rumors were later denied by the Fed, and stocks ended the day 1% lower even as Fannie and Freddie and regulators insisted that the two have adequate capital.

Citigroup (NYSE: C), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) will be some of the financials reporting results next week, and the tech sector will see results from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK).

AMD (NYSE: AMD) lost more than 2% on news of another write-down in the value of its ATI acquisition, while Spansion (NASDAQ: SPSN) soared 33% on a Caris & Co. upgrade.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) managed to finish the day with a small gain, while Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) fell on downgrades.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) lost more than 2% despite the release of its new 3G iPhone, as there were some reports of activation glitches. Rival Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) fell more than 6% on the day.

Infosys (NASDAQ: INFY) tumbled 13% on guidance that was only slightly below analysts’ estimates.

The Nasdaq lost 18 to 2239, the S&P fell 14 to 1239, and the Dow tumbled 128 to 11,100 after dipping below 11,000 for the first time in nearly two years. Volume rose to 6.79 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.39 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 22-11 margin on the NYSE, and 14-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 46% on the NYSE, and 71% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 40-791 on the NYSE, and 37-420 on the Nasdaq.

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