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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): You Can Blame It for Tech Stocks Dragging on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) is having a fine day today, rising 76 points as of 1:45 p.m. EDT on a cheerful unemployment report. But this rosy performance was achieved despite a terrible fall for three of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI)’s four tech components.

Tech stocks scored an unfortunate hat trick by claiming the three worst performances on today’s Dow. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has dropped 7%, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has lost 5% of its value, and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has taken a 2.7% haircut. No other Dow stock has plunged anywhere near as much. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was spared from this bloodbath, instead rising 0.3%.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Yes, there’s a pattern here. The largest publicly traded builder of PC systems took the hardest hit, followed by the king of PC operating systems, and then the undisputed champ PC processors. The catalyst was a pair of catastrophic market reports on PC sales from sector analyst firms IDC and Gartner. Big Blue doesn’t sell small systems anymore, which explains the lack of market backlash against that particular technology titan.

IDC’s report said PC system shipments plunged 14% year over year in the first quarter, nearly twice as fast as the firm had expected. It’s the fourth consecutive annualized unit drop, and PC sales haven’t been this weak since 2009.

IDC placed much of the blame squarely on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s shoulders. Not only did the “radical changes” in Windows 8 fail to ignite PC sales the way Windows 7 did, but the fizzled launch also “appears to have slowed the market.”

Gartner adds that weak system sales in the industrialized world can’t be healed by strong shipments into developing markets. “Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones,” the firm said. That trend seems to hold true everywhere you look these days.

The article Blame Microsoft for Tech Stocks Dragging on the Dow Today originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Anders Bylund.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Intel, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out Anders’ bio and holdings or follow him on Twitter and Google+.The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, International Business (NYSE:IBM) Machines, and Microsoft.

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