Tech Stocks Lose Ground Again

Tech stocks lost ground for a third day Monday, as economic concerns continued to weigh on the market.

Weak manufacturing, auto sales and construction data continued the drumbeat of downbeat economic news, combining with worries about inflation and credit market troubles to send stocks sharply lower in the early going. But monthly inflows helped limit the damage, and stocks pared their losses by the close.

The big economic news of the week will likely be Friday’s monthly jobs report.

Google, Apple and Research in Motion continued to run into sellers, falling around 3% each. Apple and RIM were hit by downgrades, while Google lost ground after new online services from Microsoft heightened concerns about growing competition between the two.

AMD, eBay, Amazon and Juniper were also caught in the downtrend, while Cisco, Intel, IBM, Dell and Oracle escaped the selling.

Qualcomm shed 3% in a setback in its patent dispute with Nokia.

Diebold rocketed 61% after United Technologies offered to acquire the maker of ATMs and voting machines.

The Nasdaq lost 12 to 2258, the S&P added 1 to 1331, and the Dow shed 7 to 12,258. Volume rose to 4.1 billion shares on the NYSE, and declined to 2.2 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by an 18-15 margin on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 45-236 on the NYSE, and 41-290 on the Nasdaq.

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