FAIRFIELD - (AP) - Fairfield-based General Electric Co. says its first-quarterearnings fell 36 percent on sharply lower profits at its troubledfinance arm, but the results beat Wall Street forecasts in aglimmer of good news for the struggling company. GE, which has a stake in almost every large sector of theeconomy, from light bulbs to locomotives, had earnings fromcontinuing operations of $2.9 billion or 26 cents per share. Thatsurpassed the 21 cents per share forecast by analysts. GE had net income of $2.7 billion, down from $4.3 billion, or 43cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 9 percent, with sales down or flat in everydivision except GE's energy business. GE Capital profits dropped 58percent.