NEW YORK – U.S. tech stocks ended lower Friday after a disappointing profit forecast from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) pulled down the major indexes and outweighed news that the U.S. economy grew briskly in the first quarter.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15.37 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 11,367.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up just 0.89 of a point, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 1,310.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 22.38 points, or 0.95 percent, at 2,322.57.
Shares of Microsoft suffered their biggest one-day slide since December 2000, helping the Nasdaq close down nearly 1 percent. Microsoft also was the heaviest weight on both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500.
But rising oil prices lifted the energy sector while shares of the biggest U.S. banks rose sharply on the belief they may be undervalued on the heels of new economic data and several analysts' upgrades. Both sectors countered the Microsoft news and allowed both the Dow and S&P 500 to end essentially flat.
U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the first quarter, the strongest in 2 1/2 years, the government said. Prices rose less rapidly than in the fourth quarter, calming inflation worries.
"Large parts of the market have done well away from Microsoft, although it is driving both the Dow and Nasdaq Composite lower because it is such a large part of both indices," said Stephen Massocca, co-chief executive of Pacific Growth Securities.
Volume was active on the NYSE, with about 1.79 billion shares changing hands, above last year's daily average of 1.61 billion. On Nasdaq, about 2.58 billion shares traded, above last year's daily average of 1.80 billion.
Advancers outnumbered declining stocks on the Big Board by a ratio of about 3 to 2.
On Nasdaq, the trend held with advancing shares outrunning declining ones by a ratio of about 6 to 5.
For the week, the Dow gained 0.18 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.05 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.87 percent.
Microsoft fell 11.4 percent, or $3.10, to $24.15 in very heavy trading. After Thursday's closing bell, the company released earnings that missed Wall Street's expectations and gave an outlook that failed to impress investors.
Several analysts cut their investment ratings on Microsoft.
The drop-off in Microsoft hurt other tech companies such as business software maker Oracle Corp. , whose shares fell 2.3 percent, or 34 cents, to $14.59.
Rising crude oil prices lifted shares of Exxon (XOM) Mobil Corp. , which ended up 1.1 percent, or 66 cents, at $63.08. ConocoPhillips (COP) rose 1.1 percent, or 71 cents, to $66.90.
The June crude oil futures contract jumped 91 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $71.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the world's nuclear watchdog confirmed Iran has flouted demands to stop enriching uranium, renewing worries about threats to oil supply.
Citigroup Inc. (C) shares rose 3.7 percent, or $1.80, to $49.95 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. added 3.3 percent, or $1.43, to close at $45.38. Both stocks touched fresh 52-week highs, with Citigroup ending at that level and JPMorgan rising as high as $45.80.
Bank shares rose after the GDP data showed strong U.S. growth, analysts said. Large financial services companies often mirror, from a growth perspective, the economies where they do business.