The Nasdaq sank 189.22, or nearly 4 percent, to 4,644.67, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a slim 0.79 to 1,508.52.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 82.61 to close at 11,018.72. Wal-Mart Stores led a retailer surge, rising $4.25 to $58.75.
Internet and other tech stocks posted broad losses. Mark Mobius, managing director of Templeton Asset Management, called Internet stocks "dangerous territory" and said companies he's seen in places as far away as Argentina "have no earnings, no prospects of earnings, in the near future," the financial cable channel CNBC reported.
The CNET tech index lost 98.86 to close at 3,391.37, dragged down by shares of eBay and Yahoo.
Losers soundly thumped winners, with 82 of the 100 stocks in the index falling, 16 rising and two remaining unchanged.
Of the 18 sectors tracked, Internet services and computer-aided design and manufacturing companies posted the sharpest drops, falling about 6 percent each. Communication services companies were the day's largest gainers, climbing a slim 0.8 percent.
Intel fell $3.81 to $131.88. The company today introduced two Celeron processors for budget computers that will kick off another cycle of competition in the consumer PC market.
Microsoft climbed $2.88 to $107.19 as talks with the Justice Department over its antitrust case appear to have stalled.
Yadkin Valley Bank and Trust was the biggest percentage gainer on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares jumped $3.94, or 41 percent, to $13.50 after the bank said it will increase its first-quarter dividend. Volume was a paltry 33,800 shares.
Video equipment maker Hauppauge Digital was the Nasdaq's largest loser, falling $18, or 46 percent, to $20.50 on a volume of 5.5 million shares.
Cisco Systems was the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq, falling $1.81 to $76.06 on volume of 54.7 million shares. Cisco today said it will buy privately held SightPath, which makes systems that deliver TV-quality video to the Internet, for $800 million in stock.
Among members of the CNET tech index, eBay and Yahoo posted significant losses.
eBay fell $24.81, or 11 percent, to $199. The company is closing some member accounts and calling in federal officials after receiving more than 150 complaints about fraudulent auctions.
Yahoo fell $17.94, or 9 percent, to $177.06. Three video game companies have sued Yahoo over the alleged sale of illegal goods on its auction and stores site.
Shares of Excite@Home rose $3.38 to $37.69 after recent decisions by AT&T, the company's largest shareholder, to tighten its control over the broadband portal and Net service. AT&T shares rose 56 cents to $60.44.
Analog Devices rose $4.75 to $86.25. An analyst at ABN Amro reiterated his "buy" rating on the stock.
The Philadelphia semiconductor index lost a whopping 67.37, or 5 percent, to close at 1,193.80. KLA-Tencor and Micron Technology led the drop. KLA fell $7.19 to $77.81; Micron fell $13.50 to $127.
Shares of Akamai Technologies and Inktomi took large hits. Inktomi fell $23, or 11 percent, to $182, while Akamai lost $29.88, or 14 percent, to $170.
Emulex continued its slide, falling $39.22, or 24 percent, to $121.69. The stock has lost 37 percent of its value over the last two days after an analyst at Morgan Keegan cut his rating on the stock.
Shares of Check Point Software plunged $40.75, or 20 percent, to $157.50 on volume of 2.8 million shares--more than twice the stock's average daily volume.
Shares of Seagate Technology and Veritas Software could post early moves tomorrow. Veritas and an investment group led by Silver Lake Partners announced today that they will acquire the assets of the storage technology firm in a transaction valued at $20 billion.
Seagate shareholders will receive approximately half of one Veritas share and $5 in cash for each Seagate share held, a total value of about $77.50.
At the 1 p.m. PST close of regular trading today, Seagate shares were down $5.44 at $62.75. Veritas shares fell $12.44 to $142.50. The transaction was announced after the markets closed.