Stocks Tumble on Earnings Woes

A string of high-profile earnings misses finally caught up with investors Friday, sending stocks plunging in their steepest one-day loss in nearly three years.

Motorola fell 7.7% after the company’s sales just missed estimates, but what really fueled the market’s decline were disappointing results from Dow giants GE and Citigroup . A four-month high in crude prices added to losses.

It was the market’s biggest one-day loss since March 2003. Shares of Google lost 8% on the day, in part on a privacy battle with the Bush Administration, and other tech leaders took big hits too.

Stocks rallied sharply at the start of the year on expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon be done raising interest rates, but with a quarter of S&P 500 companies missing Wall Street estimates thus far, including several high-profile names, investors have begun to worry about a potential slowdown.

The Nasdaq lost 54 to 2247, the S&P 500 dropped 23 to 1261, and the Dow tumbled 213 to 10,667. Volume rose to 2.83 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 2.35 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 23-10 on the NYSE, and 22-8 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 84% on the NYSE, and 90% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 240-43 on the NYSE, and 172-35 on the Nasdaq.

F5 , MRO and MIPS rose on their results.

Imation , up 7%, beat estimates and announced the acquisition of Memorex.

Xilinx , California Micro , Cree , Faro , Genesis Micro , Supertex , Synaptics and Infineon fell on their results.

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