Dow's 2.1% drop for week is worst since November

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Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013 12:00 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings from a pair of technology giants helped the stock market recover some of its losses Friday, a positive end to Wall Street's worst week in five months.

Microsoft and Google both beat earnings expectations, yields of government bonds ticked up and copper — a key industrial metal — continued its fall, losing 2 percent.

Microsoft gained 3 percent to $29.77, leading the Dow Jones industrial average higher. The software giant reported earnings late Thursday that beat analysts' forecasts and showed solid results from its Office, software tools and Xbox divisions.

Google's stock climbed 3 percent to $799.87. The leader in Internet search boosted prices for ads distributed to smartphones and tablet computers.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13.64 points to 1,555.25, an increase of 0.9 percent. The Dow rose 10.37 points to 14,547.51, a gain of 0.1 percent. The Dow spent most of the day down, pulled lower by disappointing results from IBM.

Friday's slight gains couldn't overcome a tough week for the market, when both the S&P 500 and the Dow lost 2.1 percent. That's their biggest weekly drop since November.

By many measures, the financial markets have endured a rough five days. News that economic growth had slowed in China set off a plunge in commodity prices on Monday, leading the stock market to its worst day of the year. Gold dropped below $1,400 an ounce for the first time in two years.

The stock market bounced back the next day, then fell Wednesday, its third worst day this year.

Most big corporations have managed to beat analysts' low expectations for first-quarter profits. Of the 104 companies that turned in results through Friday morning, 70 have trumped forecasts, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Analysts estimate that earnings for companies in the S&P 500 inched up just 2 percent over the previous year, a slowdown from the 7.7 percent rise in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Next week marks another big week for earnings as 10 members of the Dow and 181 companies in the S&P 500 report results.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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