Quarterly earnings for the country's largest provider of computer services fell short of forecasts for the first time since 2005. IBM said delays in closing several large software and mainframe computer deals hindered sales. The company reported quarterly results after the market closed Thursday,
Shortly before 10:45 a.m. Eastern, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points, or less than 1 percent, to 14,484. IBM led the average lower, falling seven percent to $193.54.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, also less than 1 percent, to 1,547. The Nasdaq composite index gained 21 points to 3,188.
Traders, like everyone else, were following the news out of Boston, where police were hunting for one of two brothers suspected in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. One brother was killed in a gun battle with police overnight.
The news had no impact on markets, traders said.
Microsoft rose 3 percent to $29.77, countering IBM's weight on the Dow. The software giant reported earnings late Thursday that beat analysts' estimates and showed solid results from its Office, software tools and Xbox divisions.
For the week, both the S&P 500 and the Dow have lost nearly 3 percent.
Google's stock rose 2 percent to $782.48 after its quarterly profit beat Wall Street's estimates. The leader in Internet search boosted prices for ads distributed to smartphones and tablet computers.
U.S. Treasury prices slipped, nudging yields up from their lowest levels of the year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.70 percent from 1.68 percent late Thursday.