The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was dropping in morning trading Thursday, shedding more than 85 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow component Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) was underperforming its index, and shares of fellow tech stocks Logitech (NASDAQ: LOGI ) and Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA ) were also posting notable declines.
Inflation in line with expectations
Inflation data released early on Thursday showed that prices in the U.S. were rising about as fast as economists expected. Core CPI, a measure of inflation that excludes the cost of food and energy, rose 0.1% on a month-to-month basis. On a year-over-year basis, it was up 1.7% -- also in line with what economists had anticipated.
With inflation in check, the Federal Reserve may be less likely to further reduce its asset purchase program in the months ahead. Still, investors seemed to be ignoring that possibility on Thursday as the Dow Jones fell.
A new candidate emerges for Microsoft CEO spot
The emergence of possible new candidate to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer failed to push the tech giant's stock up. Microsoft, down 1%, is said to be considering Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, according to Bloomberg. Vestberg's name comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the focus had centered around Microsoft insiders including Satya Nadella, Stephen Elop, and Tony Bates.
Vestberg has an established track record in the wireless industry, and if named CEO might be able to help Microsoft's struggling handset business.
Logitech shares fall as Best Buy disappoints
Logitech shares were down nearly 6%. There wasn't much news to explain Logitech's decline, but Best Buy's poor holiday results may have had some effect. Best Buy shares were down as much as 30% early on Thursday after the electronics retailer released its holiday results. Best Buy's fall was mostly due to margin concerns, but management said the consumer electronics market has been weaker than expected.
Logitech is primarily a manufacturer of PC, mobile, and gaming accessories -- all products sold in Best Buy stores. If Best Buy had a difficult holiday season, it's possible that Logitech may have had one as well.
Zynga stumbles after shutting down game
Zynga shares were down more than 8% early on Thursday. The drop follows the online game company's decision to shut down its YoVille game, one of its oldest titles.
Zynga shares may have also been hit by comments from Sterne Agee. The firm maintained its neutral rating on Zynga, but said it saw some poor traffic trends for Zynga's key titles. Sterne Agee warned that Zynga could miss consensus earnings estimates in the coming quarters.
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