A discouraging employment report combined with some profit-taking in the tech sector pushed the Nasdaq composite down 122 points to 2,660.31 Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 120 points to finish at 10,864.10.
The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 4.2 percent in January, its highest level in more than a year.
“The concern is not so much with the first quarter, the concern is what the second quarter is going to look like,” said Bill Barker, an investment strategy consultant with Dain Rauscher. “That is what is keeping this market off balance.”
Shares of chip maker National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) fell $2.56 to $24.75 after the company joined rivals in warning that slower demand for its products would hurt its earnings in the current quarter.
Intel (INTC) lost $2.13 to $35.69 while Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and IBM (IBM) shed $1.82 and $23.89 a share, respectively.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) lost 75 cents to $25.19; Compaq (CPQ) inched up 42 cents to $23.97; Gateway (GTW) fell $1.02 to $19.71 and Apple Computer (AAPL) finished 50 cents to $20.63.
America Online Time Warner (AOL) clipped $2.04 to $47.79. Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) dropped $1.88 and $2 a share, respectively, while Yahoo (YHOO) closed off $3.06 to $33. CMGI (CMGI) trimmed 63 cents to finish at $6.
Critical Path (Nasdaq: CPTH) is in a critical condition after the company said Friday officials may have fudged fourth quarter results. The Nasdaq halted trading on the stock at $10.06.
Copper Mountain (Nasdaq: CMTN) shares plunged $1.88 to $5.94 on the heels of the latest cut to its revenue projection.
Silicon Storage (Nasdaq: SSTI) dipped $1.50 to $13.06 after the company missed estimates for its fourth quarter and cut its 2001 outlook due to cancelled orders and a slowing PC sector. The stock was downgraded, but most analysts remained positive on the company's long-term outlook.
Microsoft (MSFT) slid $1.56 to $60.81 while Sun Microsystems (SUNW) and Oracle (ORCL) fell $1.94 and $2.31 a share, respectively.
Cisco Systems (CSCO), which reports earnings next week, lost $2.75 to $35.50. Nortel Networks (NT) shaved off $2.26 to $36.01 and Lucent Technologies (LU) closed off $1.27 to $17.73.