Microsoft Props Up Techs

Better than expected results from Microsoft helped stocks overcome another sell-off on interest rate jitters Friday.

Microsoft topped earnings and sales estimates late Thursday and offered a solid outlook for the current quarter, but a weaker than expected Xbox sales forecast dampened enthusiasm for the software giant’s results. The stock ended Friday’s trading session half a percent higher.

Tech stocks managed a slight gain on the day, but blue chips closed modestly lower after strong durable orders and new home sales caused interest rates to spike and sent stocks skidding in early trading.

Extreme Networks , International Rectifier and MEMC gained on their quarterly results.

Western Digital , CDW , Emulex , PLX , Synaptics and Technitrol fell on their earnings reports.

The Nasdaq added 1 to 2435, the S&P 500 lost 1 to 1422, and the Dow shed 15 to 12,487. Volume declined to 2.55 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.08 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53% on the NYSE, and 52% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 135-27 on the NYSE, and 94-52 on the Nasdaq.

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