Why the Nasdaq's Falling Behind Today

Earnings-related news hit the Nasdaq hard today as the latest results from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) raised questions about the huge advances in tech stocks so far this year. Around 11 a.m. EST, the Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) was down eight points to 2,780, lagging behind the Dow's 47-point gain.

Google was off about $50 per share, or 8%, in morning trading. The company announced yesterday afternoon that it earned $8.22 per share, falling well short of consensus expectations of $9.06 per share. Although gross revenue jumped 25% to a record $10.58 billion, it also fell short of estimates. But concerns about higher costs from branching out beyond its core search-engine business weighed on the stock. Ad prices also fell. In response to the news, analyst Pacific Crest lowered its price target on the stock from $800 to $725 this morning.

Among other tech giants, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) was up about 2% after reporting happier results. Earnings of $0.61 per share beat estimates comfortably, with $13.9 billion in revenue marking a 22% jump over last year's results. Contrary to some expectations, PC chip growth was strong at 17%.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) also reported last night, with revenue rising 5% and per-share earnings inching up to $0.78, just beating analyst targets. With narrower losses at its online division and the company's partnership with Nokia finally beginning to bear fruit, stock watchers should start looking forward to the impact that Windows 8 could have on the software giant. Shares rose more than 3.5%.

Lastly, Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG  ) fell sharply, down more than 7% in morning trading. The robotic surgery system maker reported strong earnings results, but apparently, growth of 27% in procedures and 30% in instrument and accessory sales wasn't enough to allay investor concerns about the sustainability of the company's future growth. With the stock trading at fairly high valuations, Intuitive Surgical doesn't have much margin for error.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Microsoft, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Microsoft, Intuitive Surgical, and Intel, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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