LONDON (SHARECAST) - Yesterday's weaker trend is set to continue on Friday, with investors seeing plenty of reasons to bank the week's gains after a spate of disappointing earnings announcements.
Software colossus Microsoft set alarm bells ringing in the technology sector, with a set of first quarter results which showed post-tax earnings down 22% year-on-year to $4.47bn, or 53 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of around 56 cents.
Coming hot on the heels of Google's sub-par figures yesterday, the disappointment could see Microsoft shares under pressure in early trading. Microsoft's cash cow, the Windows operating system, is losing traction in the market as sales of desktop PCs - where the operating system is all-conquering, decline.
Google, by contrast, is expected to bounce back from the shellacking it took yesterday after it fell short of expectations on both revenue and profits.
Elsewhere in the tech sector, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is tipped to rise after confirming long-rumoured job cuts. The firm said it expects to save $190m next year as a result of the job cuts.
On the old school side of things, industrial holding company General Electric showed it was not only the new kids on the block disappointing the market. The firm's third quarter revenue of $36.35bn was about half a billion dollars shy of the Street's expectations.
Spread betting quotes indicate that the Dow Jones 30-share index will open around 43 points lighter at 13,506 while the broader-based S&P 500 is pointed towards an opening value of 1453, down four points from last night's close.