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Europe, tech reports hurt stocks

Sat., June 25, 2011

If weak financial results from big tech companies are sign of what’s to come, stock indexes are in for a tough summer.

Stocks fell Friday, giving the market another losing week, after poor earnings reports from two major technology companies suggested that companies invested less in new technology as the economic recovery slowed.

Fears of a spreading European debt crisis also weighed on markets. Italian bank stocks plunged and trading in some of them was halted after Moody’s warned that it might downgrade their credit ratings.

“I think it spooked a lot of people,” said Frederick Rizzo, who analyzes European banks for T. Rowe Price. “The markets are really emotional right now.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115.42 points, or 1 percent, to 11,934.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 15.05, or 1.2 percent, to 1,268.45. The Nasdaq composite fell 33.86, or 1.3 percent, to 2,652.89.

The decline erased all of this week’s gains for the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P index. The broad stock market has now fallen for seven of the eight last weeks, largely because of concerns that the U.S. economy is slowing and that Europe’s debt problems may lead to another financial crisis.

Fears that China’s growth is slowing have also pushed markets lower. The S&P 500 is down 7 percent since it hit a high for the year April 29.

Technology stocks were broadly lower. Micron Technology Inc. fell 14.5 percent after the company said lower sales of computer chips hurt its earnings, which were far less than analysts had expected. Oracle Corp. fell 4 percent after its sales of computer hardware fell sharply. Cisco Systems Inc. fell 3.5 percent, and Microsoft Corp. lost 1.3 percent.

Government bond prices rose to their highest level of the year as investors favored lower-risk assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2.86 percent.


 

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