The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) added 56 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. But even as the blue-chip index rallied, a number of tech stocks tumbled, with big names Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) posting modest declines.
Consumer sentiment falls short of expectations
The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index initial report for January showed U.S. consumers were feeling less confident than economists had expected -- a reading of 80.4 fell short of the 83.5 consensus estimate. Broadly speaking, the survey should be seen as a negative for the nation's economy, as it suggests that consumers are feeling less positive about the economy. Still, it is only a preliminary number; a final reading will be released later this month.
Apple dips on China Mobile debut
Shares of Apple were down 1% on Friday as China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier, began selling Apple's handsets. Apple CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua held a press event at China Mobile's flagship store in Beijing.
The deal with China Mobile should be seen as a positive for Apple, as all major Chinese carriers now offer the U.S. tech giant's handsets. But Apple's shares have run up in anticipation of the deal, and some investors may be taking profits on Friday.
Intel tumbles on earnings
Unlike Apple, Intel's decline of nearly 4% appeared to be rooted in something quite substantial -- the chip maker yesterday reported quarterly earnings that disappointed analysts. Although Intel's revenue was better than expected, earnings came in slightly worse than anticipated. In the year ahead, Intel does not expect its business to grow.
Intel's traditional PC business actually grew just slightly, with PC Client Group revenue up 2% in the quarter. Its data center business also saw revenue up 8% year over year. Yet analysts had been more hopeful, with many looking for that segment to post a double-digit gain.
Microsoft falls following Intel's report
Microsoft shares posted a more than 1.6% decline early Friday. It wasn't completely clear why Microsoft stock was falling, but investors may have been selling in light of Intel's drop.
Intel's chips power most of the PCs running Microsoft's Windows, and though Intel's PC segment didn't post a quarterly decline, a modest gain combined with muted guidance may not bode well for the future of Windows PCs.