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APPLE INC. (AAPL)

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50m ago Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs seven-for-one stock split
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TECH STOCKS: Nasdaq Back Under 3,000, LinkedIn Leaps

05/04/2012 | 10:21am US/Eastern
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By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks were in broad retreat Friday morning as the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped back under 3,000 after U.S. stocks fell on weaker-than-expected job growth in April.

The Nasdaq (RIXF) shed more than 1% to 2,984, shares of major tech companies slid into the red. The last time the benchmark was below the 3,000 mark was April 24.

Cisco Systems (>> Cisco Systems, Inc.) was down 2%, while Intel Corp. (>> Intel Corporation) shed 1%, as the two stocks became two of the worst performers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow (DJI) was down 92 points.

On the upside, shares of Micron (>> Micron Technology, Inc.) also were up by more than 5% on media reports that the semiconductor company has apparently won the bidding for the failed Japanese memory chip maker Elpida.

Shares of LinkedIn (>> Linkedin Corporation) jumped 10% a day after the professional social networking reported a surge in earnings.

"We are positive on LinkedIn's business and believe it will be difficult for competitors to challenge its leadership position," Needham analyst Kerry Rice said in a note. "The company's large addressable market is underpenetrated, in our view, and an improving economy should benefit LinkedIn's growth"

But there were questions on how much the economy has improved after April's employment numbers came in below forecasts.

Also in negative territory were shares of Apple Inc.(>> Apple Inc.), which shed 1.6%, Oracle Corp.(ORCL), down 1.7% and Microsoft Corp.(>> Microsoft Corporation), which traded down 1.3%.

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