A plunge in consumer spending led investors away from equities today as analysts questioned how American’s will spend alongside slower economic growth. The reports, accompanies by weaker job numbers had the market ending only narrowly higher. Tech mirrored the broader market, with major companies gaining only slightly for the day.
Among the more notable gainers, was Nokia (NOK), which announced the release of its first Windows-based smartphone, expected for the fourth quarter. The smartphone, which is not yet on the market is the company’s biggest bet of the year. Nokia believes the release will help them regain market share lost to Apple’s iPhone.
Until this year, Nokia was accountable for the majority of smart phones being shipped. Their hardware has not lost its popularity, but shares have been slipping as consumers have expressed a preference sleeker, more seamless iPhone.
The Nokia announcement, garnered support from investors, though Apple it did little to detract enthusiasm for Apple (AAPL). Shares of Apple were also up for the day, but have been relatively stable as the media assesses the resignation of former CEO and current Chairman, Steve Jobs from varying viewpoints. Jobs has been consistently behind much of the innovation at the company, helping to drive shares. There is some worry that his replacement does not have the creative wherewithal to continue that trend.
Still, Apple’s long track record of stability, led the company up slightly after a session of seesawing.
Google (GOOG) also suffered through mixed reactions today as challenges, including an extensive U.S. antitrust probe of the company's practices; the resolution of a long-running criminal investigation into GOOG’s advertising dealings and other economic and industry forces, have mounted for the company. Larry Page, who took over as Apple’s CEO in April has been persistently challenged by these factors and shares of the company have fallen more dramatically than the broader market, at 9.1 percent as a result.
Even still, many are looking at this more as a buying opportunity as the company continues to grow than a permanent trajectory for the company. Shares ended the day higher.
Not all companies had the name recognition to thrive in on up and down session like today’s. The Memory-chip maker, Micron Technology Inc. (MU) continued a slide, following Bernstein Research analyst Mark Newman’s not that stated earlier share improvements at the company were likely to be “short-lived.” Newman asserted that shares would probably fall for the remainder of 2011.
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