Tech Stocks Plunge on Auto Woes

Stocks plunged Monday on worries that U.S. automakers could be headed for bankruptcy, while Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) paced the Nasdaq’s decline.

Intel lost 4.5% despite the much-anticipated release of its Xeon “Nehalem” chip, while Sun lost 7.5% after another weekend passed without a formal takeover offer from IBM (NYSE: IBM).

The Nasdaq shed 2.8% on news that the government may force GM (NYSE: GM) and Chrysler into bankruptcy, while concern about the health of the banking sector also weighed on stocks. The Dow and S&P lost nearly 3.5% each.

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) fell 2.9% despite plans to offer Skype service for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry users.

RIM and Micron (NYSE: MU) will report quarterly results after the close on Thursday.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR), Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) were some of the tech names falling more than the Nasdaq.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) managed to end the day with a 1.3% gain, while InterDigital (NASDAQ: IDCC) soared 21% on reorganization plans.

First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) and Energy Conversion (NASDAQ: ENER) led solar stocks lower after Barron’s said the companies could lose their competitive advantage because of falling silicon prices.

The Nasdaq fell 43 to 1501, the S&P 500 lost 28 to 787, and the Dow plunged 254 to 7522. Volume rose to 6.94 billion shares on the NYSE, and declined to 2.09 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 32-5 margin on the NYSE, and 21-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 95% on the NYSE, and 85% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 8-66 on the NYSE, and 6-43 on the Nasdaq.

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