Stocks Plunge On War Concerns

Stocks fell sharply Monday on concern about a lengthy war in Iraq, and a weaker than expected manufacturing report didn’t help.

The Nasdaq fell 28 to 1341, the S&P 500 lost 15 to 848, and the Dow plunged 153 to 7792. Volume rose to 1.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.57 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 78% on the NYSE, and 76% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 43-56 on the NYSE, and 66-55 on the Nasdaq.

Chip stocks led the way lower after sales stalled in February, according to the semiconductor industry association. Intel fell 5.5%.

AMD fared somewhat better on news that it plans to launch a new company with Fujitsu.

Pumatech soared 25% after acquiring a Motorola subsidiary.

AOL fell 4% on news of yet another restatement. The company also boosted its broadband service.

eBay fell 4.5% on a number of problems noted in the company’s 10-k filing, including possible charges and forfeiture of some PayPal revenue that may have come from illegal activity.

CSG plunged 16% on earnings problems highlighted in the company’s 10-k filing.

Nokia , down 3%, plans to boost CDMA handset production in China. Qualcomm fell 4% on news that Nokia won’t be licensing its chipsets.

IBM , off 3%, unveiled a digital video platform.

Viisage ended 1 cent higher on news of an acquisition.

Oracle , down 2.3%, and BEA , off 3.5%, are locked in a application server duel.

Microsoft , off 1.8%, is boosting WiFi security.

Adobe , off 2%, is targeting the high-end DVD market.

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