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Google plunges, dragging down the Nasdaq

A sharp drop in Google's stock dragged the Nasdaq composite down 1 percent after a weak earnings report for the company was inadvertently released hours ahead of schedule.

Other indexes closed with smaller losses Thursday.

The Nasdaq lost 31 points to close at 3,073. An 8 percent drop in Google, the third-largest component in the Nasdaq after Apple and Microsoft, was a big factor.

Google plunged after its report, which badly missed analysts' estimates, was released prematurely. The company blamed publisher R.R. Donnelley for the mistake.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down eight points at 13,549 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up four points to1,457.

Falling stocks narrowly outnumbered rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavier than usual at 3.8 billion shares.