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Tech stocks slow market's surge

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

NEW YORK — A bad day for technology stocks on Friday slowed a recent surge in the stock market.

Microsoft led the slump in tech, falling the most in more than four years as the company wrote off nearly $1 billion on its new tablet computers and reported declining revenue for its Windows operating system.

Google dropped as it reported its revenue fell below analysts' forecasts, partly because the Internet search leader's ad prices took an unexpected turn lower.

With tech stocks falling, the Standard & Poor's 500 index eked out a gain of 2.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to an all-time high of 1,692.09. The S&P 500 has rebounded after a decline last month and is up 5.3 percent in July.

Despite the market's broad advance, a growing list of poor tech results is raising concerns about the strength of the economy and the stock market. Intel and eBay reported weak results this week, and chipmaker Advanced Micro reported a second-quarter loss because of a worldwide slump in PC demand.

Technology “has definitely been a sector that people have been expecting big things from, and it has not delivered,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 4.80 points, or 0.03 percent, to 15,543.74. If not for the declines in Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, the index would have gained about 70 points.

Even General Electric's brighter outlook for the economy was overshadowed by the tech slump.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 23.66 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,587.61. The index was the only major market benchmark to end the week lower, falling 0.4 percent.

Technology stocks in the S&P 500 have lagged this year, gaining only 8.5 percent, versus 18.6 percent for the broader index.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.48 percent from 2.53 percent Thursday.

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