informa
/
1 MIN READ
News

TECH STOCKS: Consumer Sentiment Sends Stocks Sliding

The markets ended the week on a down note after an unexpectedly low reading on the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index.
Stocks closed the week on a low note after an unexpectedly negative reading of consumer sentiment, offsetting an initial rally spurred by a positive earnings report from Dell.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its consumer-sentiment index, which measures consumers' outlook on the economy, fell to a reading of 93.1 in February, from 103.8 in January. Wall Street economists had expected a smaller decline, to 103.1.

The reading took its toll on stocks. The InformationWeek 100 fell 3.47 points, just over 1%, to 334.61, up 0.6% for the week. The Dow Jones industrials fell 66.22 points, or 0.6%, to close at 10,627.85, up 0.3% for the week. The Nasdaq composite index fell 22.05 points, or nearly 1%, to close at 2,053.55, down 0.5% for the week. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 6.3 points, or 0.6%, to close at 1,145.81, though it gained 0.3% this week. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 31 cents to $36.94 and ended the week down 0.5%.

The Michigan report offset an early rise in stock prices sparked by Dell's report Thursday of a 24% gain in fourth-quarter profits. Dell executives said businesses are growing and that they're seeing an increase in companies' IT spending.

Intel shares slipped nearly 2% after Bank of America cut its earnings and revenue forecast for the chipmaker on expectations of weak PC demand. Merck and Hewlett-Packard were the Dow's biggest gainers, and Walt Disney the index's biggest loser after a run-up in the price of Disney shares triggered by Comcast's takeover bid for the company.

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing