Stocks Survive Microsoft

Stocks managed to end the day unchanged Friday despite a warning from Microsoft and a steep slide in housing starts.

Microsoft shares lost 2.5% after CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts that Vista sales estimates are too aggressive, but the surprise was that the rest of the market recovered after initially following Microsoft lower.

Google shares gained on news that the company will acquire a video game ad company, although word that Microsoft considers Google a competitive threat probably didn’t hurt. , Ditech , Hittite Microwave and Radiant Systems surged on their earnings reports.

Sonic , LookSmart and Captaris fell on their quarterly results.

After the close, SanDisk fell on pricing concerns after the company announced cost-cutting measures.

The Nasdaq slipped 1 to 2496, the S&P 500 gave back 1 to 1455, and the Dow added 2 to 12,767. Volume declined to 2.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.95 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a few issues on the NYSE, and 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 51% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 214-14 on the NYSE, and 160-41 on the Nasdaq.

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