Stocks Drop on Tech Sector, Europe Worries

U.S. stocks dropped Friday, as poor earnings reports from technology companies weighed on the tech sector and speculation over the stability of the Italian banking sector took away Wall Street’s risk appetite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 115.42 points, or 0.96%, to end at 11,934.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 15.05 points, or 1.17%, to 1,268.45, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 33.86 points, or 1.26%, to 2,652.89. For the week, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% and the Dow industrials lost 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite, however, gained 1.4% for the week, its first winning week in six.

Oracle, Micron losses led decline in tech stocks . Oracle reported a profit of $3.2 billion, or 62 cents a share, for its fourth quarter, up from $2.4 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Oracle said sales for the quarter ended May 31 rose to $10.8 billion.

Micron Technology Inc.’s fiscal third-quarter profit sank. For the quarter ended June 2, Micron posted a profit of $75 million, or seven cents a share, down from $939 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier. Prior-year results benefited from a $437 million accounting gain stemming from Micron’s acquisition of Numonyx. Revenue declined 6.5% to $2.14 billion.

Italian bank stocks were temporarily halted due to higher-than-usual volatility.  Worries that rating agencies might downgrade Italian banks pulled down European bank shares and increased global fears of a wider spread crisis.

Crude-oil futures edged higher Friday, recouping a small fraction of the previous session’s steep losses on a surprise supply increase.  Benchmark crude for August delivery ultimately advanced 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $91.16 a barrel.

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