Stocks Open Lower After Dell's Big Miss

Stocks opened lower Friday as technology shares took yet another hit — this time it was weak earnings from PC maker Dell.

Another strong day for the US currency was also pressuring stocks. The strong-dollar weak-stocks trade has been in full force all week. Commodity prices declined, with oil trading below $76.50 a barrel and gold trading around $1,140, after setting a record abouve $1,150 earlier this week.

The Dow dropped about 30 points at the open, led by Alcoa, Caterpillar and Cisco.

Dell shares tumbled after the computer maker missed on both earnings and revenue.

This came after an analyst downgrade on Intel and other chips on Thursday and weak outlooks from a pair of software makers on Wednesday.

A small comfort for tech: Software maker Intuit posted a smaller-than-expected loss.

Shares of D.R. Horton tumbled after the homebuilder reported a much larger-than-expected quarterly loss even though it said orders increased. Margins were disappointing.

Gaphit its earnings target, helped by strong sales at its lower-priced Old Navy stores.

Ann Taylor beat earnings expectations but its topline was a little light — sales dropped 12.3 percent and the women's apparel chain said sales would continue to slide in the fourth quarter.

GE shares slipped after the Financial Times reported that GE and Vivendiare $1 billion apart on valuing Vivendi's stake in NBC Universal. GE is also the parent of CNBC.

Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report
Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report

Procter & Gamble saw its shares slip amid news that the company is targeting a share repurchase of less than $8 billion.

Despite a rough week for the markets, optimism remained; JPMorgan upped its target for the Standard & Poor's 500 to 1,160 though it noted that many investors were likely to go into "hibernation" as 2009 comes to a close.

The sale of Vivendi's stake in NBCU is a key component of any potential deal for Comcast to buy a 51 percent controlling stake in NBCU, the parent of CNBC.

Sony is also a stock to watch today, as its shares fall to a four-month low in Japan after its new business strategy failed to impress investors.

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