RTTNews - Stocks moved lower at the start of trading on Friday, with the major averages giving back some ground after ending the previous session sharply higher. The initial weakness came as traders cashed in on recent gains following some disappointing earnings news.

With software giant Microsoft (MSFT) reporting weaker than expected quarterly sales, technology stocks are posting notable losses in early trading. Semiconductor, networking, and software stocks are turning in some of the worst performances.

Microsoft said revenue for the fourth quarter fell 17 percent to $13.1 billion, coming in below analyst estimates of $14.4 billion. The company also reported net income of $0.34 per share, down from $0.46 per share in the same quarter of last year.

Separately, Amazon.com (AMZN) said that its net income for the second quarter fell to $0.32 per share from $0.37 per share in the year-ago quarter. While the earnings came in line with analyst forecasts, revenues rose by less than expected.

Early weakness among banking, retail, and real estate stocks has also helped to drag the major averages off the multi-month highs set on Thursday. On the other hand, some strength has emerged in the trucking sector.

Later this morning, the spotlight will be cast on the latest reading on consumer sentiment from Reuters and the University of Michigan. While the index is expected to be revised up to 65 from the mid-month reading of 64.6, it would remain below June's 70.8.

The major averages are currently stuck in negative territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a steep loss. While the Nasdaq is down 23.29 at 1,950.31, the Dow is down 29.86 at 9,039.43 and the S&P 500 is down 4.48 at 971.81.

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