Technology stocks fell for the fifth day in a row despite good earnings from International Business Machines and Dell Computer and predictions that the tech sector will produce record profits this year.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index fell almost 30 points to 1,883.15 leaving the tech-dominated index down 63 points for the week, a loss of more than 3 percent. Off 132 points or 6.5 percent since the end of the second quarter, the Nasdaq composite has been down in 9 of the 11 trading sessions this month.
IBM stock gained 26 cents after the company reported earnings grew roughly 18 percent. Dell shares were up 55 cents after the PC maker said its second quarter profits will be about 7 percent better than estimates.
The modest bounce from those reports was offset by news that Motorola Inc. had priced the initial public offering of its Freescale Semiconductor spin-off at just $13 a share rather than the $19 or more originally projected.
That was the second conspicuously unsuccessful IPO of the week. Domino's Pizza, expected to go public for $15 to $17 a share was able to get only $14 for its stock and the shares have fallen$13.83.
Wall Street analysts and independent economists are predicting the profits of technology companies will continue to grow but warn that doesn't necessarily mean a broad rebound in technology stocks. There are enough companies coming in with earnings that fall short of estimates for investors to be cautious about the whole sector, they say.
Retail stocks also took a hit Friday as crude oil prices climbed back over $41 a barrel to their highest level in three months. Investors now are resigned to the view that high priced gasoline is burning up cash that consumers otherwise would spend elsewhere.
There was no sign that investors drew much encouragement from today's consumer price index report from the Labor Department that showed inflation even less of a problem than expected. The CPI rose 0.3 percent, but the closely-watched "core" inflation rate rose just 0.1 percent -- the smallest increase of the year.
Although the report calmed fears of inflation and rising interest rates, it also raised the question of whether stable prices are an indication that the economy is weakening.
Stocks opened higher, but as they have done repeatedly recently, faded toward the close. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23 points to 10,139.78, ending the week down 73 points, a loss of less than 1 percent.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell 5 points to 1,101.39, bringing its loss for the week to 11 points or about 1 percent.
The long term trends are also negative. It was the fourth losing week in a row for the Dow, the fifth for the S&P and the third for the Nasdaq composite, which is down to within seven points of the low for the year that it hit in May.