Stock Average Lose Ground as Volume Swells


Stocks slid Thursday as a miscue on Google’s (GOOG) earnings release, which held disappointing results, sparked chaotic selling in the broad market.

When the closing bell rang, the Nasdaq was down 1%, the S&P 500 off 0.2% and the Dow Jones industrial average a fraction lower. Volume increased on both major exchanges, according to preliminary data.

Google swooned 8% in four times its average trade, slicing through its 50-day moving average. The world’s biggest search engine reported — prematurely — it earned $9.03 in Q3, $1.62 less than analysts had forecast.

Recreational- and all-terrain-vehicle maker Polaris Industries (PII) staged a stunning upside reversal, turning a 4% loss into a 3% gain in heavy volume. Polaris’ Q3 report, released before the opening, beat views with earnings and sales that climbed 40% and 21%, respectively. The stock is 13% past a 78.04 buy point from a cup-with-handle base.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) fell 3% in heavy volume after the company said the FDA had delayed a decision on whether to approve the company’s multiple sclerosis drug, BG-12. The stock has fallen below a 150.30 buy point but is getting support at its 10-week line.

NetScout Systems (NTCT) gapped above its 50-day line and rallied as much as 11%, but had seen that fat gain whittled down to 3% by day’s end. Before the open, the software maker smashed expectations with fiscal Q2 earnings that grew 42% to 34 cents a share. Analysts expected 26 cents. Sales rose 16% to $84.5 million, also above views. NetScout also raised the low end of its profit forecast.

Select Comfort (SCSS) sank 7% in frantic trade despite reporting better-than-expected Q3 results. Late Wednesday, the specialty mattress maker and retailer reported earnings that jumped 48% to 46 cents — a nickel above views. Sales rose 24% to $246.8 million, edging past views of $246.6 million. The company also raised its full-year profit forecast.

SolarWinds (SWI) fell 3% to its lowest levels in nearly three months. The stock has erased the bulk of gains from its July 25 breakout past a 47.99 buy point. Shares rose as much as 20%, but are now 5% past that trigger point.


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