The technology stocks fell on Thursday despite strong profit showings by big firms including Microsoft and EMC.

The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 23.90 points, or 0.86 percent, at 2,750.86. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index was down 9.32 points, or 2.02 percent to 452.51.

Microsoft, the worlds' largest software maker, beat even the most optimistic forecasts by reporting a first quarter profit 29 percent higher than last year, earning 45 cents per share. A consensus estimate by Thomson Financial had predicted 39 cents per share in profit. Shares rose 76 cents, or 2.43 percent to close at $32.01. In after hours trading Microsoft shares rose another 11.09 percent to 35.56.

EMC corp, the biggest server software and storage company rose $1.99, or 8.83 percent, to $24.52 after beating estimates with a 74 percent rise in quarterly profit and announcing a stock-buyback plan of $2 billion.

Strong earnings propelled software firm Compuware Corp higher by 12.15 percent and helped sever virtualization technology firm VMware gain 10.12 percent.

Decliners included Google, which fell $7.31, or 1.1 percent to 668.51 after rumors that that Internet search leader lost out to Microsoft in its bid to buy a stake in social networking site Facebook.

Nvidia fell $3.32, or 8.7 percent, to $34.70 after a downgrade by American Technology Research.

Symantec, the worlds' biggest security software fell $2.52, or 11.99 percent, to $18.50 after reporting its quarterly profit fell 60 percent and predicted earnings for the current quarter that were below Wall Street estimates.

Computer maker Dell fell 2 percent. Consumer electronics and computer maker Apple dropped 1.7 percent. Auction site Ebay dropped 1.5 percent.