Google, Tech Stocks Post Modest Gains

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and the stock market spent a lot of time going nowhere on Friday.

Google started the day lower after posting strong earnings and lower than expected sales and issuing a cautious outlook. The stock rallied 3% to its highs of the day 30 minutes later, then spent the rest of the day trying to hang onto those gains, closing 0.9% higher.

The broader market followed a similar pattern, trading lower, then higher before ending the day flat, as traders digested earnings reports from GE (NYSE: GE) and Citigroup (NYSE: C) and a better than expected consumer sentiment reading.

Quantum (NYSE: QTM) posted strong gains for a second day after renegotiating a credit agreement. The company is receiving financial support from EMC (NYSE: EMC). Level 3 (NASDAQ: LVLT) also surged on a financing deal.

Unisys (NYSE: UIS) also posted big gains for a second day on a government contract win.

Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) rose 4.5%, but most big-cap tech stocks traded mixed ahead of some major earnings reports next week. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), IBM (NYSE: IBM), AMD (NYSE: AMD), Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), VMware (NYSE: VMW), EMC, (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are among the names reporting quarterly results next week.

Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) slumped 3.6% on a Stifel Nicolaus downgrade ahead of its results next Thursday.

The Nasdaq rose 2 to 1673, the S&P 500 gained 4 to 869, and the Dow climbed 5 to 8131. Volume rose to 8.48 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.45 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 24-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 59% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 11-63 on the NYSE, and 25-13 on the Nasdaq.

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