This Is the Reason the S&P 500 Was Tech-Wrecked

Call it Bam-Googling or a Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) goof, but one way or another, the advertising giant sucked the life out of the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) today. Google, which was set to report its third-quarter earnings after the bell, had its earnings report released four hours early by R.R. Donnelly. The release highlighted a sizable earnings and revenue shortfall, which precipitated a rapid decline in Google's share price and, subsequently, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, of which it's a component, fell along with it. Google shares finished the day down 8%, or $60.49, following a lengthy midday halt.

A jump in initial jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 13, to 388,000, also took the wind out of investors' sails, because they had thought that the jobs numbers were improving. This wasn't a huge surprise, as last weeks' figures were heavily criticized.

Overall, the S&P 500 shed 3.57 points (-0.24%), to end the day at 1,457.34. Let's have a look at a few other big movers influencing the S&P 500 today.

Giving Google a run for its money in the down column was usually reliable regional bank BB&T (NYSE: BBT  ) , and the relatively volatile Huntington Bancshares (Nasdaq: HBAN  ) .

BB&T clocked in with third-quarter earnings this morning of $0.66, which was $0.05 shy of what Wall Street had been looking for, sending the stock down 7%. Despite the miss, my Foolish colleague Robert Eberhard, who is all over those regional bank earnings reports, notes that the miss was attributable to one-time merger costs associated with BankAtlantic, and that net income still rose 57%. Furthermore, BB&T pushed its tier 1 capital ratio to 10.9% this quarter from 10.2% last quarter. The takeaway appears to be that this move lower is an overreaction.

Huntington Bancshares, however, may be getting everything it deserves, and more, with today's 6% drop. According to Fool John Maxfield, after topping analyst's third-quarter expectations by $0.02, Huntington sent out some warning signals by deciding to slow down on its mortgage lending operations in the near-term, until it sees what the new capital rules are. This is in marked contrast to nearly every money center bank that's reported thus far, which has seen a boost in mortgage lending volume. John also pointed out that Huntington's provision for loan losses rose slightly over the previous quarter.

Winners in the tech sector were few and far between, thanks to Google today, but semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research (Nasdaq: LRCX  ) took the crown, advancing by 7%, following its first-quarter earnings results. Lam's revenue squeaked by the consensus estimates, but its profit of $0.53 blew away the $0.41 that everyone else had been expecting, thanks to strong North American demand. Although its second-quarter guidance was for tepid growth, at best, it remains a potential turnaround candidate, as I highlighted last month.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Huntington Bancshares. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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