Microsoft Can’t Overcome Weak GDP Report

Strong earnings from Microsoft gave tech stocks an early boost on Friday, but sellers soon took over on news that the economy grew at a slower than expected pace in the fourth quarter.

Microsoft eked out a gain on earnings and revenues that topped Wall Street forecasts, but the rest of the market finished lower on a Commerce Department report that the economy grew 3.1% in the fourth quarter, the slowest growth rate in two years and below economists’ 3.5% estimates.

Jitters ahead of this weekend’s elections in Iraq also weighed on stocks.

The Nasdaq lost 11 to 2035, the S&P 500 gave back 3 to 1174, and the Dow fell 40 to 10,427. Volume rose to 1.64 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 2.1 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-15 on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 60% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 101-24 on the NYSE, and 68-44 on the Nasdaq.

SanDisk , Microstrategy , Xyratex , Aspect , Catapult and Kronos rose on their results.

Broadcom , Novellus , Overstock , Gateway , Foundry , Sanmina and LookSmart slumped on their results.

August Tech surged 18% on a takeover offer from Rudolph Tech .

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