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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Microsoft, Alphabet stocks set for worst week since pandemic hit

Alphabet stock is shown on a screen in New York on July 25, 2017. Microsoft and Alphabet Inc. stocks are on track for their worst weekly performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  (Associated Press )
By Ryan Vlastelica Bloomberg

Microsoft and Alphabet Inc. stocks fell Friday, extending a drop that has put both on track for their worst weekly performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares of Microsoft fell 1%. The software company is on track for its seventh straight negative session, its longest such streak since August 2017, and it has lost about 9% over the seven-day slump.

For the week, the stock is down more than 7%, putting it on track for its biggest weekly drop since March 2020.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, dropped 1.2% Friday in its fourth straight negative session.

The stock is down about 6% this week, also its biggest weekly drop since March 2020.

The week’s decline has come amid a spike in U.S. bond yields, which broadly pressured high-growth names.

The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury climbed to about 1.77% Friday, its highest since January 2020, after trading as low as under 1.4% in December.

Higher rates are seen as a headwind for high-growth and high-valuation stocks, as they reduce the present value of future earnings.

Trading Friday was also impacted by the latest jobs report, which showed a drop in the unemployment rate and an increase in wages.

Among other names, Apple Inc. fell 0.4% Friday, while lost 0.5% and Meta Platforms Inc. slid 0.5%.

The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF fell 1.2% Friday and is down more than 9% this week; it is also on track for its biggest one-week percentage drop since March 2020.

The scale of the recent weakness has some analysts seeing value in the sector; Goldman Sachs wrote “the group may be oversold,” given a positive view for demand trends in 2022.

For Microsoft and Alphabet, the rough start to 2022 comes after a year in which both companies sharply outperformed. Alphabet gained 65% over the course of 2021, more than double the nearly 27% return of the Nasdaq 100 Index.

Microsoft rose more than 50% last year, its 10th straight positive year, as well as its ninth straight year with a double-digit advance.