Intel’s Spending Plans No Help for Stocks

Stocks plunged Tuesday on disappointment over a lack of details in a new Treasury Department financial rescue plan, overshadowing an optimistic announcement from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC).

The S&P 500 had rallied 5% last week in anticipation of the announcement — then gave it all back in a single day on worries about the lack of details on plans to price distressed financial assets and halt foreclosures.

The announcement overshadowed Senate approval of an $838 billion economic stimulus bill and plans by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) to invest $7 billion in new U.S. 32-nanometer manufacturing plants.

Intel’s news couldn’t even help the chip sector, which ended the day 4.6% lower. Intel shares lost 5.6%.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) were among the names exceeding the Nasdaq’s 4.2% loss, and Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) got hit hard with profit-taking after recent run-ups.

SiRF (NASDAQ: SIRF) soared 55% on plans to merge with Bluetooth firm CSR.

Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) plunged 22% on its results.

But Qwest (NYSE: Q) was a rare bright spot, up 2% after beating estimates.

After the close, Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC) slipped after releasing their quarterly results.

The Nasdaq plunged 66 to 1524, the S&P 500 lost 42 to 827, and the Dow tumbled 382 to 7888. Volume rose to 8.04 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.47 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 31-6 margin on the NYSE, and 22-5 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 96% on the NYSE, and 93% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 12-104 on the NYSE, and 7-100 on the Nasdaq.

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