Technology stocks fall, holding back market

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NEW YORK -- A bad day for technology stocks Friday held back the stock market's big run-up.

Microsoft led the slump in tech, falling the most in more than four years after the company wrote off nearly $1 billion on its new tablet computer and reported declining revenue for its Windows operating system. Google dropped after its revenue fell below analysts' forecasts, partly because the Internet search leader's ad prices took an unexpected turn lower.

With tech stocks falling, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was held to a gain of 2.72 points, or 0.2 percent. That pushed the index up to another all-time high of 1,692.09. The S&P 500 has rebounded from a poor performance last month and is up 5.3 percent in July.

Despite the market's broad advance this month, a growing list of poor tech results is raising concerns about the strength of the economy and the stock market. Intel and eBay also reported weak results this week, and chipmaker Advanced Micro reported a second-quarter loss because of a worldwide slump in PC demand.

Technology "has definitely been a sector that people have been expecting big things from and it has not delivered," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 4.80 points, or 0.03 percent, to 15,543.71. If not for the declines in Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, the index would have gained about 70 points.

The price of crude oil edged up a penny to $108.05 a barrel. The price of gold climbed $8.70 to $1,292.90 an ounce.

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