Fears that the paralyzing credit crisis gripping the U.S. could dampen technology spending hit tech stocks again on Thursday, sending the Nasdaq 4.5% lower to a fresh three-year low.
Of the 25 most heavily traded Nasdaq stocks, only one ended the day higher, and it took a buyout offer for Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML) to accomplish that. Atmel soared 34% on the offer from Microchip (NASDAQ: MCHP) and On Semi (NASDAQ: ONNN).
Nearly half the Nasdaq most active list had losses of 7% or more, including Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR), Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA).
eBay fell after Morgan Stanley cut estimates and downgraded the company, and Juniper, KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC) and Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) were hit by downgrades too.
Micron (NYSE: MU) rose 4% despite missing estimates in what the company called a challenging environment.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) fell 5% a day after dropping 6% on worries about its upcoming earnings report.
Click Software (NASDAQ: CKSW) jumped 24% after raising guidance, while Tree.com (NASDAQ: TREE) fell 25% after announcing its earnings reporting date.
The broader market was hit by the latest evidence of a slowing economy and rising unemployment. Friday morning — before the House takes up the president’s massive rescue bill again after rejecting it on Monday — the Labor Department will issue its monthly jobs report, which is expected to show a loss of 100,000 jobs last month.
The Nasdaq lost 92 to 1976, the S&P fell 46 to 1114, and the Dow tumbled 348 to 10,482. Volume rose to 6.33 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.22 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 29-5 on the NYSE, and 23-5 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 89% on the NYSE, and 95% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 11-629 on the NYSE, and 6-402 on the Nasdaq.