Techs Lead Market Downturn
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Stocks reversed sharply lower Thursday afternoon after spending much of the day in record territory.
Some attributed the sudden decline, which began around 2 P.M. Eastern Time, to hawkish comments on interest rates by a European Central Bank official, while others cited a JP Morgan research note on Baidu.com that said the Chinese search leader's quarterly sales could come in below the high end of Wall Street estimates. Shares of the high-flyer skidded 10% to $308.78.
The Nasdaq led the way lower, turning a 1% gain into a 1.4% loss by the close, although the major indexes finished off their lows for the day.
VMware, Research in Motion and Apple also reversed sharply lower. Apple fell 2.7% despite bullish comments by Goldman Sachs, while VMware lost 4% on cautious analyst comments.
The chip sector was weak once again, with Nvidia falling 4.4% on a ThinkEquity downgrade.
Infosys fell 6% despite beating estimates, as traders worried about currency concerns.
The Nasdaq lost 39 to 2772, the S&P fell 8 to 1554, and the Dow lost 63 to 14,015. Volume rose to 3.87 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.56 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 20-12 margin on the NYSE, and 20-9 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 57% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 348-77 on the NYSE, and 245-84 on the Nasdaq.