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Nasdaq Deep in Red for 2016 as Alphabet, Microsoft Slump

The Nasdaq had no shot at ending the week on a high note after tech earnings dragged on the industry-heavy index.

The Times Square-based exchange slumped even further into the red for the year as major companies including Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Alphabet (GOOGL) tumbled. The Nasdaq ended the day 0.8% lower and is now down 2% for the year.

It was a better day for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average which, while mixed, came off their session lows by the middle of the afternoon. The S&P 500 was flat and the Dow climbed 0.12%.

Earnings have been a key driver of markets this week, with a tsunami of critical reports driving markets in both directions. Nearly one-third of the S&P 500 have reported earnings so far this season.

Alphabet fell as quarterly profit rose from a year earlier, though not at as fast a pace as analysts had expected. Net income increased 26%, while adjusted earnings of $7.50 a share missed estimates of $7.96 a share. The parent company of Google saw higher traffic-acquisition costs and expenses and lower aggregate paid clicks.

Alphabet stock was trading near all-time highs before the report, "leaving no wiggle...