RIM, AMAT Lead Tech Stocks Lower

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) led stocks lower on Tuesday, as traders turned nervous ahead of first-quarter earnings reports.

RIM lost 6%, as traders finally took some profits after last week’s stellar earnings report.

AMAT shares tumbled nearly 9% after a $1.9 billion solar deal was slashed to $250 million because of the economy.

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) lost 4% on top of Monday’s 23% plunge after the company’s merger talks with IBM (NYSE: IBM) fell apart.

But Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) managed to end the day unchanged on an RBC upgrade, the latest analyst firm to see a turnaround coming for the software giant. Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) also received a positive mention from RBC.

After the close, Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) shares jumped 8% despite a lowered sales outlook, while Micron (NYSE: MU) slipped on news of a debt sale.

The Nasdaq tumbled 45 to 1561, the S&P 500 fell 20 to 815, and the Dow lost 186 to 7789. Volume declined to 5.94 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.91 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 28-8 margin on the NYSE, and 20-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 84% on the NYSE, and 86% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 4-49 on the NYSE, and 6-26 on the Nasdaq.

Note: The Market Close report will return on April 13.

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