Microsoft’s Tough Quarter Sinks Tech Stocks

Worries that technology spending is falling victim to the year-long recession sent the Nasdaq skidding on Thursday, as strong results from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) mattered little in the face of warnings from a half-dozen technology names.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Sony (NYSE: SNE), Seagate (NYSE: STX), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and Taiwan Semi (NYSE: TSM) were just some of the companies portraying a weak technology spending environment.

Microsoft shares lost nearly 12% after the company announced disappointing results and layoffs hours earlier than expected.

EBay lost 12% on its first revenue decline, and Seagate fell twice that amount on its results.

Nokia and Sony were also double-digit percentage losers. Sony said it expects its first annual loss in 14 years.

But Apple was one of the few bright spots, gaining 7% on much better than expected earnings.

Interwoven (NASDAQ: IWOV) was the day’s biggest winner on all U.S. stock exchanges, up 32.5% on news that it will be acquired by UK-based Autonomy.

As bad as the day was, stocks finished well off their worst levels on hopes for quick passage of the Obama administration’s planned stimulus package. Still, the Nasdaq ended the day 2.8% lower.

Investors got some good news after the close in the form of better than expected results from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), but AMD (NYSE: AMD) shares slipped after the company missed estimates.

The Nasdaq lost 41 to 1465, the S&P 500 fell 12 to 827, and the Dow lost 105 to 8122. Volume rose to 8.12 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.33 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-8 margin on the NYSE, and 20-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 77% on the NYSE, and 82% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 5-97 on the NYSE, and 7-133 on the Nasdaq.

News Around the Web