Consumer sentiment falls less than expected
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. fell in July, according to a private poll to released today. The Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment slipped to 66 from 70.8 in June. It was expected to fall to 65, according to a median estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg.

Microsoft Slides
Shares of Microsoft fell nearly 9 percent on Friday after the software giant reported yesterday that revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter was down 17 percent to $13.1 billion, below analysts’ estimates. Net income was down 29 percent to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents per share. Excluding items, profit was 38 cents per share, beating estimates of 36 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Amazon dips
Amazon.com shares were down 8.3 percent in early afternoon trading on Friday after reporting yesterday that net profit fell 10 percent to $142 million in the second quarter. Net revenue was up 14 percent to $4.65 billion. Results beat expectations of 31 cents per share. The retailer however, said sales in North American media revenue was flat at $1.15 billion, with a decline in videogames and consoles, but growth in books.

Offshore oil and gas exploration to fall
Derrick Petroleum Services projected the number of new offshore oil and gas exploration wells will shrink by about 15 percent in 2009, due to the oil market volatility and the credit crunch, Reuters reported.

Exelon 2Q earnings drop 12pct
Exelon Corp said today its 2009 second quarter earnings dropped 12 percent on lower demand for power and higher costs for nuclear fuel. Earlier this week the company withdrew an offer to acquire rival NRG Energy Inc. after nine months of negotiations.

Black& Decker rises
Shares of Black & Decker Corp (BDK) rose 8.2 percent in afternoon Friday after the tool maker reported a second quarter profit which beat expectations and raised its earnings outlook. Net income was down 61 percent to $38.3 million, or 63 cents per share. Net revenue was down 27 percent to $1.19 billion. Adjusted earnings were 37 cents per share

Dover Corp falls
Shares of Dover Corp (DOV) fell 4.2 percent in afternoon trading on Friday after the industrial manufacturer lowered its guidance, expecting revenue to fall between 24 percent and 26 percent in fiscal 2009. Excluding charges, the firm earned 54 cents per share, beating estimates of 46 cents, according to Reuters Estimates. Net revenue was down 31 percent to $1.4 billion compared to the year ago period.