Tech names salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) and Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN ) tumbled on Tuesday, broadly underperforming the market -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rose more than eight points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow component Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) also lost more than 0.7%.
With little economic news, investors were left to focus on individual stocks. Markets in Europe and Asia were broadly lower, though that weakness was obviously not affecting investors in the U.S.. The German DAX shed 0.33% following a disappointing report on economic sentiment in Europe, and in Germany in particular.
Salesforce.com drops following earnings report
Salesforce.com, a company that depends on sales of its cloud-based business software, fell more than 3% at one point on the heels of its earnings report late Monday afternoon.
Last quarter, salesforce.com earned an adjusted $0.08 per share on revenue of $1.08 billion. Analysts had looked for the company to bring in $0.09 per share on revenue of $1.05 billion. But salesforce.com, which has thrived in recent years on rapid growth, reported a more cautious outlook than anticipated. Next quarter, the company expects to earn $0.05-$0.06 per share; analysts had looked for a guidance of $0.06.
In addition to its earnings, salesforce.com also announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard to create the so-called "Salesforce Superpod." The Superpod blends salesforce.com's software with HP's hardware.
Groupon hit by insider selling
Daily deals giant Groupon also tumbled, though not because of earnings. Shares of Groupon have been volatile since its IPO in late 2011, and fell more than 4% on Tuesday after it was revealed some major insiders had been selling their stock.
Most notably, CEO Eric Lefkofsky dumped more than 450,000 shares last week for a $4.7 million pay day. Lefkofsky, however, remains the company's largest stock holder, with more than 108 million shares left in his portfolio. Other insiders, including Chairman Ted Leonsis and co-founder Brad Keywell, have also been selling.
Groupon shares have rallied strongly since Andrew Mason was fired as CEO back in February. Still, shares remain far below their IPO price of $20 per share.
Microsoft falls after buyout approval
Microsoft shares also dropped on Tuesday, though the sell-off was not nearly as severe as those experienced by salesforce.com and Groupon. There wasn't a major reason for the loss, but this week remains crucial for Microsoft's long-term future.
Today is Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting, though nothing significant is likely to happen. The company's board met yesterday, reportedly to finalize the list of potential candidates to succeed CEO Steve Ballmer.
Meanwhile, Nokia's shareholders just approved the sale of the company's hardware business to Microsoft (a widely expected move), as the Finnish company prepares to launch the first phablet running Microsoft's Windows Phone OS in the U.S., the Lumia 1520, this Friday. That device, however, isn't the only piece of Microsoft software coming this week -- Microsoft's Xbox One will also go on sale Friday.