Apple Takes a Bite Out Of Tech Stocks

A drop of more than 6% in shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) weighed on tech stocks Wednesday, while the rest of the market struggled to digest the Federal Reserve’s historic rate cut.

Apple fell on news that this will be the company’s last year at Macworld Expo, while news that Steve Jobs won’t be giving the keynote once again raised speculation about the CEO’s health and had investors thinking that the company might not have much in the way of product news at the show. The announcement also came amid reports of weak Mac sales.

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) lost 3% a day ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report. Analysts are looking for 9% sales growth to $5.84 billion and earnings of 34 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial. Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) will also report Thursday night.

Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) slipped 3% on in-line results and guidance.

Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) tacked on 2% after the company lowered its outlook and announced job cuts, while Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX) slipped on lowered guidance.

Satyam (NYSE: SAY) surged 50% after abandoning controversial takeover plans.

Micron (NYSE: MU) and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) gained on reports of help for the struggling DRAM industry from Taiwan. Micron, which also announced a flash storage collaboration with Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA), will report its quarterly earnings on Dec. 23. Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) was another of the day’s big gainers, up 5%.

The Nasdaq lost 10 to 1579, the S&P slipped 8 to 904, and the Dow fell 99 to 8824. Volume declined to 6.05 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.17 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 22-15 margin on the NYSE, and 14-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 45% on the NYSE, and 44% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 34-93 on the NYSE, and 12-74 on the Nasdaq.

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