Though the market will end up for the week for the first time since July, Friday reversed some of the gains of earlier trading. The most recent economic data continues to support the notion that the economy has not entered into a double dip recession, but investors remain wary of the possibility as U.S. unemployment and European debt contagion loom. Tech stocks were as much victim to the reports as any other sector and closed the session with most components headed slightly lower.
Among the top decliners of the session was Apple Inc. (AAPL), which has sprung a minor leak since the passing of former CEO and innovator Steve Jobs. Jobs was considered the engine at Apple and some fear that in the absence of his leadership and watchful eye the company could continue to shed value. In spite of the concern, the declines have been moderate with Apple down only 3 percent for the week.
The relative stability for the week may change depending on the result of the pre-order and sales for the latest iPhone, the Iphone 4S which marks the first launch for Apple under the leadership of Tim Cook.
In other phone related news within the sector, Motorola (MSI) is being sued in a patent dispute by a company partially bankrolled by Google (GOOG). Intellecual Ventures plans to take legal action, claiming Motorola violated six of its patents in the development of the Android phone. Google is on both sides of the arguments as the web goliath is looking to purchase Motorola but has a financial interest in Intellectual ventures.
Motorola fell for the day though it remains near its 52-week highs on the suspicion of a Google acquisition. Meanwhile, Google edged slightly higher during the session, ending the week mostly flat.
Additionaly, the long-ailing Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) had a roller coaster day following the company’s announcement that it would need to raise additional funds in order to build a higher-speed data network. The cash would be on top of the money it would require to subsidize sales of the latest iPhone to its customers. Shares of the company rose 13 percent after the initial announcement only to end the day 20 percent in the red following the realization of the supplementary capital.
The announcement also negatively impacted another company, Clearwire Corp. (CLWR), which declined over 30 percent following the detail provided by Sprint regarding its upcoming 4G or fourth generation network. Sprint said it would discontinue the sale of Clearwire compatible devices following the debut of 4G.
In the chip sector, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) slid lower in spite of a positive assessment from Oppenheimer’s Rick Schafer. Schafer upgraded the stock to perform from underperform or neutral. AMD bucked the trend of some other big names in the sector including Texas Instruments (TI), Intel (INTC) and Nvidia (NVDA) which rose without obvious impetus.