In this market, good news seems to stand little chance.
On Thursday after the close of regular trading,
reported strong results -- even in its applications sales business, which disappointed investors in the previous quarter. And then
Software's Incredible Hulk
said after the close that it expects to report fiscal second-quarter revenue of $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion, and earnings of 46 cents or 47 cents a share. Analysts had expected the company to record revenue of $6.77 billion and earn 49 cents a share in the December quarter, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
. It also lowered estimates for the full fiscal year, which ends in June.
And so it went, on yet another day during which investors spent their time worrying. The
finished the day down 3.3%.
So could good results from
help? Nah. After all, some of the damage already was done. Adobe fell 13% before its earnings were released Thursday after an analyst downgraded the stock, in part because of concerns about a tech slowdown.
Of course, perhaps Microsoft was all that mattered anyway (sorry Oracle).
The culprit for Microsoft was the same as it has been for
-- weak PC sales.
"We believe, like many other technology companies, that the current weakness in worldwide economic conditions is resulting in a slowdown in PC sales, corporate IT spending, and consumer online services and advertising," John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said in a statement.
Connors continued: "However, while our short-term results will continue to be affected by the current economic environment, our long-term outlook on the information technology market and the PC industry remains positive. We have a lineup of new products and technologies that are receiving rave reviews from customers, and we continue to be very excited about the progress we are making across all our businesses.''
And which part of Connors' statement did investors care about? Exactly. Microsoft's stock was down about 6% in after-hours trading.