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Market Update: Techs plunge amid Nasdaq meltdown

Technology stocks were in a freefall in afternoon trading Tuesday as the Nasdaq lost a whopping 13.3 percent. That loss is nearly double the 7.6 percent dip the Nasdaq had on Monday.

Folks, that's more than a 20 percent plunge in two days. The Nasdaq was down 574.57 to 3,649.11. The Nasdaq carnage also spilled over to those recently popular old-economy stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average was off 456.45 to 10,765.48.

The Nasdaq index is now down more than 20 percent from its March high of 5,048,62. The Nasdaq is on negative ground for the year, off more than 2 percent since the 1999 year-end close of 4,069.

Investors scrambled to pinpoint a new bottom for technology stocks after the Nasdaq composite broke through the 4,000 and 3,800 levels. Technical analysts said they were eyeing the 3,750 mark as key to stopping the Nasdaq sell-off.

A series of events have triggered the current sell-off. For starters, antitrust concerns sent Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) shares in a tailspin Monday. In addition, investors are increasingly concerned with the valuations given to stocks such as Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO). Toss in profit warnings, concerns about a dot-com cash crunch and momentum trading and you have a recipe for a meltdown.

The losses were ugly across the board.

At 1:11 EDT, Cisco was down 7 15/16 to 65, or 10 percent. The networking giant was the most active Nasdaq issue.

Microsoft was stable in early trading, but was off 5 13/16 to 85 1/16 after a harsh antitrust ruling was handed down. Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), which has gained on B2B buzz, crumbled 10 to 66 7/8, or 13 percent. Parametric Technology (Nasdaq: PMTC) was down 1 49/64 to 8 63/64. Shares of Parametric were pummeled on Monday because of a profit warning.

Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) lost 16 percent, or 14 41/64 to 75 11/64.

Fiber-optic equipment supplier JDS Uniiphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) was off 22 percent, or 24 13/16 to 86 13/16, after the company inked a deal Tuesday to buy Cronos Integrated Microsystems for $750 million in stock.

Applied Microsystems (Nasdaq: APMC) fell 8 1/4 to 7 1/2, or 52 percent, after it said it expects first quarter earnings will be about a dime below analysts expectations.

BindView's (Nasdaq: BVEW) plunged 66 percent to 8 17/32 16 7/16 to 9 1/8 after announcing first quarter earnings will miss expectations.

For more quotes of high-tech issues see ZDII's industry indices.

Reuters contributed to this report.