Stocks slid Thursday as investors worried about corporate earnings. The Dow
dropped more than 180 points and declined for the third day in a row, while
the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished lower.
Stocks have been off to a rocky start in 2014 while bonds have outperformed.
After last year's big rally, investors are looking for signs the economy will
be strong enough to keep the bull market going. And so earnings have come
squarely in focus.
But good news from Microsoft could help the markets on Friday. Microsoft rose
in after-hours trading thanks to better-than-expected earnings and sales.
Despite the strong results, investors will likely be listening for more
information on Microsoft's CEO succession plans.
Shares of Noki tanked after the cell phone and networking equipment maker
reported a bigger than expected loss and drop in sales. Microsoft is in the
process of buying Nokia's device business.
Shares of IBM ended slightly higher after it announced a deal early Thursday
to sell part of its server business to Chinese computer maker Lenovo for $2.3
billion. IBM fell on Wednesday as well following a weak earnings report.
Facebook shares dropped after a report Wednesday called the ...