Tech Earnings No Help For Stocks

Strong earnings from a trio of tech bellwethers were no help for the stock market on Friday, as a weaker than expected durable goods report fanned slowdown fears.

Micron and Red Hat rose after delivering better than expected quarterly results, but the rest of the market remained on the defensive over inflation and recession fears.

Even Research in Motion sold off after opening higher on its earnings report.

The headline durable orders number was solid, up 1.9%, but once transportation orders were factored out, business investment fell 1.4% last month. The news was all investors needed to continue taking profits.

Qualcomm shed 2% after lowering its earnings guidance but raising its sales forecast. Tibco lost 3% on its results.

Comments from an analyst that Intel’s quarter appears to be on track weren’t much help either, as the chip giant’s shares lost 1%.

In midday trade, the Nasdaq was down 13 to 2402, the S&P 500 fell 7 to 1411, and the Dow lost 72 to 12,349. Volume was running light at about 750 million shares on the NYSE and 650 million on the Nasdaq, and breadth was negative by a 2-to-1 margin.

Note: The Market Close (and the Technical Analysis column) will be on hiatus next week and return on Jan. 2. Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a prosperous New Year.

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