Yahoo Leads Stocks Lower

Yahoo led stocks lower Thursday after reporting results and guidance that weren’t quite up to Wall Street’s expectations.

Yahoo pointed out that its results were within its own guidance range issued in April, but that fact appeared to do little to calm a market already worried about a summer slowdown.

Yahoo finished down 7.7% on the day, off its worst levels, but the major indexes closed at their lows.

So far this quarter, at least 15 tech stocks have warned that they won’t meet analysts’ expectations, as the technology recovery progresses more slowly and selectively than hoped. Siebel and BMC were the latest to warn, and their stocks fell 13-15% on Thursday.

Investors will be watching big names like IBM and Microsoft closely when they report earnings later this month.

Chip stocks got some rare good news from an unlikely source: Tokyo Electron, the world’s second-largest chip equipment maker and the worst-performing stock on the Nikkei 225 this year, reported a 20% jump in orders from the first quarter. That helped stocks like Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor to modest gains on the day.

Fears of a terrorist attack ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election also weighed on the market, as did weaker than expected retail sales.

The Nasdaq fell 30 to 1935, the S&P 500 lost 9 to 1109, and the Dow dropped 68 to 10,171. Volume rose to 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.79 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 21-11 on the NYSE, and 23-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 79% on the NYSE, and 81% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 156-141 on the NYSE, and 131-45 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, CA and StorageTek warned.

During the day, CheckFree jumped 8% on a deal with Wachovia .

SSPI surged 12% after Boeing successfully ported its software.

eLoyalty and ScanSource climbed after raising guidance.

OpenTV soared 26% on a deal with Disney .

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