Stocks tumble despite Microsoft
The software giant lowers its full-year operating forecast. The Fed chief talks about regulation. Amazon.com surges on strong results.
Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET
Microsoft (MSFT) shares were up more than 5% this afternoon, after the company rocked Wall Street this morning with better-than-expected fiscal-first-quarter results.
Microsoft said it earned 40 cents per share in its fiscal first quarter, down from 48 cents per share last year but well ahead of Wall Street's estimate of 32 cents per share.
But the broader markets were slumping this afternoon, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) falling back below 10,000. Energy shares were weighing heavily on the market as crude oil fell to $80.33 this afternoon, down 1.1% from Thursday.
At 2:10 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 116 points, or 1.2%, to 9,966. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) had lost 9 points, 0.4%, to 2,155, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) had shed 14 points, or 1.3%, to 1,079.
Microsoft said revenue fell 14% to $12.92 billion, though the decline was smaller when adjusted for the deferral of sales of Microsoft's new Windows 7 software, which it released Thursday. Analysts were looking for revenue of $12.4 billion. (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.)
But on a conference call with investors, the company said it lowered its full-year operating expense guidance to between $26.2 billion and $26.5 billion from a previous range of $26.7 billion to $26.9 billion.
Another tech player, Broadcom (BRCM), saw its shares fall $2.50, or 8.1%, to $28.23 after the company reported a decline in third-quarter profit and issued flat guidance for the current quarter.
Broadcom's guidance sparked worries about a recovery for the broader chip market and the overall economy. The company makes chips for use across the communications spectrum, from television sets to wireless handsets.
Bernanke talks about regulation
The country's biggest banks will be subject to more rules and regulations in coming months in order to protect the financial system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this morning at the Boston Fed's annual conference in Cape Cod.
The Fed is considering whether to assess a "capital surcharge" on the biggest banks or to impose rules that require banks to hold a greater share of their capital in the form of common equity, Bernanke said.
Whirlpool profit falls
Whirlpool (WHR) this morning said third-quarter earnings were $1.15 per share, down from $2.15 per share in the prior year but well ahead of the consensus estimate of 77 cents a share.
Whirlpool has been hit by the consumer pullback, as people have held off on buying big-ticket items like dishwashers and refrigerators. Revenue fell 9% in the company's North America division, with overall revenue down 10%.
Shares of Whirlpool surged $3.96, or 5.4%, to $77.50.
Amazon.com thrives on Kindle
Amazon.com (AMZN) shares surged $22.72, or 24.3%, $116.17 this afternoon -- levels not seen in nearly 10 years -- after the company late Thursday posted strong third-quarter results.
CEO Jeff Bezos said the Kindle electronic book reader was the top-selling product on its Web site "across all product categories" in the third quarter, helping lift profit 69% to $199 million, or 45 cents per share.
Total revenue was $5.45 billion. Wall Street expected earnings of 33 cents per share on revenue of $5.02 billion.
Charley Blaine contributed to this report.
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