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Stocks Wobble After Amex Earnings, Jobless Claims

MATTHEW CRAFT

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Google plummeted almost $80 per share, more than 10 percent, and trading in the stock was halted two and a half hours Thursday after a disappointing earnings report was published ahead of schedule and surprised investors.

Bleak figures in the report about online advertising dragged down Facebook stock, too, and the Nasdaq composite index skidded 1 percent on a day when the broader stock market was mostly flat.

Google was trading at $754 per share at 12:30 p.m. EDT, then fell almost $20 in a minute after investors saw the report, a draft. It dropped as low as $676, and Google halted trading at 12:50 p.m., with the stock at $687.

The stock was halted until 3:20 p.m. Companies routinely halt trading when they have news to release to investors during the market day, but two and a half hours is an unusually long suspension.

When trading in Google resumed, the stock climbed slightly, but it still finished down $60.49, or 8 percent, at $695.

Google blamed a printing company, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, for filing its quarterly statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission more than three hours ahead of schedule.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons stock also plunged â¿¿ as much as 71 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $10.14 â¿¿ after the mistake. It later recovered most of the loss and ended the day down 9 cents.

The Google report said it earned $2.18 billion from July through September, down from $2.73 billion in the same period a year ago.

Profit came to $6.53 per share, and would have been $9.03 if not for accounting costs from employee stock compensation and restructuring charges related to Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a cellphone maker.

Still, analysts polled by FactSet, a provider of financial data, were expecting $10.63 per share.

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