Tech Earnings Hold Up, But Stocks Don’t

Technology earnings may be holding up, but they’re getting little attention from a market fretting about the solvency of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and automakers.

On a day that the S&P 500 closed at its lowest level since April 1997, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) and (NYSE: CRM) came out with some pretty solid earnings results after the close.

Shares of all three companies edged higher after hours on their earnings news. Dell rose about 5% after beating earnings estimates but missing sales expectations. Brocade was little changed despite beating earnings and sales estimates, while Salesforce gained after beating estimates but issuing mixed guidance.

But it remains to be seen if the solid earnings are enough to help a market that has been in full-fledged panic since mid-September, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The S&P fell below its 20002-2003 lows today to close at 752.44, an 11 1/2-year low.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Micron (NYSE: MU) continued to tumble, but the rest of the chip sector stabilized, with Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX) and Novellus (NASDAQ: NVLS) posting small gains.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) lost about 7% each and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) shed 8%.

Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) fell 10% on worries about competition from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Verifone (NYSE: PAY) plunged 43% after lowering its outlook.

The Nasdaq fell 70 to 1316, the S&P lost 54 to 752, and the Dow plunged 445 to 7552. Volume rose to 10.27 billion shares on the NYSE, and 3.2 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 34-3 margin on the NYSE, and 25-4 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 94% on the NYSE, and 92% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 45-1684 on the NYSE, and 2-1272 on the Nasdaq.

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