by Alyssa Oursler | October 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shook the markets today when the company didn’t just accidentally release an incomplete earnings report just after noon — it accidentally released worse-than-expected numbers just after noon.
The tech giant missed expectations for both earnings and revenue, and shares plummeted 9% before trading was halted. GOOG closed with losses of 8%. Shares of its financial printer R.R. Donnelley (NASDAQ:RRD) — whom Google blamed for the incident — also spiked down before finishing at a more modest fractional loss.
The snafu took its toll on the markets, especially the Nasdaq, which lost 1.01% to close at 3,072.87. The S&P 500 fell for the first time in three days, dropping 0.24% to 1,457.34, and the Dow’s four-day streak of gains ended, as it lost 0.06% to finish at 13,548.
A number of smaller tech names also took significant dives Thursday. Mellanox Technologies (NASDAQ:MLNX) plummeted 20% on a weak Q4 forecast, while Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) and CytRx Corp. (NASDAQ:CYTR) slumped similarly. PLX Technology (NASDAQ:PLXT) wasn’t far behind with a 13% drop.
Before Google stole the show, news that jobless claims rose 46,000 to 388,000 last week was making headlines. The rise was attributed to seasonal factors, though, while the four-week moving average was down month-over-month.
Good news also came out of China, as more economic data confirmed a soft-landing for the slowing economy. It grew 7.4% year-over-year in September, while retail sales gained 14.4% as well.
Back home, the earnings show continued. Dow insurance representative Travelers (NYSE:TRV) set an earnings record by more than doubling its income, sending shares 4% skyward, while Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) also saw slight gains on a positive report. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) grew earnings by 16%, matching Wall Street’s estimates and sending shares up just more than 2% on the day.
Grocery chain SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) reported another awful quarter but got a 5% pop on the news that it was talking to interested parties about a sale. eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) also climbed 5% after reporting the afternoon prior.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) announced that it lost $1 billion last quarter; adjusted EPS beat the Street’s estimates, but shares still slipped around 4%. Shares of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) dipped nearly 5% after the company reported its sixth straight quarterly loss, while Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) fell around 4% on a drop in earnings and sales.
Mattress-maker Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS) took a 7% haircut despite beating expectations all around and raising its earnings outlook.
Finally, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) both reported after the bell and stumbled in after-hours trading. Chipotle shares slipped more than 12% as the company missed expectations for sales and earnings, while Microsoft fell around 3% on a 22% decline in earnings.
Alyssa Oursler is an Editorial Assistant at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, she did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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