Sun Plunges as IBM Deal Falls Apart

Shares of Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) plunged 22.7% Monday after the company’s merger talks with IBM (NYSE: IBM) abruptly fell apart over the weekend.

The news dragged the Nasdaq 1% lower on the day, while the rest of the market was down modestly on bank worries but finished well off its worst levels.

Late in the day, Sun issued a statement saying it is “committed to its leadership team, growth strategy and building value for its shareholders,” apparently in response to speculation that CEO Jonathan Schwartz could be ousted amid divisions over the merger talks, according to Reuters. Neither Sun nor IBM have officially confirmed that merger talks took place.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) was a bright spot, tacking on another 8% on last week’s stellar earnings report.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), AMD (NYSE: AMD) and NetSuite (NYSE: N) were other gainers.

Satyam (NYSE: SAY) jumped 41% as bids continue for a controlling partner or new owner.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) lost 3.5% and Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) 5.7% on downbeat comments from analysts at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

NII Holdings (NASDAQ: NIHD) tumbled 18% after lowering its subscriber growth outlook.

The Nasdaq lost 15 to 1606, the S&P 500 fell 7 to 835, and the Dow lost 41 to 7975. Volume rose to 6.28 billion shares on the NYSE, and declined to 2.07 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 25-11 margin on the NYSE, and 19-8 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 69% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 3-50 on the NYSE, and 15-16 on the Nasdaq.

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