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Tech Industry

Profit warnings send stocks south

Already skittish investors sell stocks of all stripes and colors in the wake of more corporate profit warnings.

    Investors dumped stocks indiscriminately Tuesday after another wave of profit warnings as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 293 points, or 3 percent, to finish at 9,485.31.

    The Nasdaq composite index tumbled 110 points, or 6 percent, to end at 1,672.61.

    "It's the continued earnings surprises on the downside," Matt Brown, head of equity management for Wilmington Trust, told Reuters. "What hurts even more is the outlook--right now there's no visibility as to when this economy is going to turn around."

    Analysts said the flood of profit warnings from technology companies would likely continue for the next few weeks, setting the stage for further losses in the equities market.

    Ariba fell $2.06 to $4.44 after warning on Monday that it will post a huge second-quarter loss and lay off about one-third of its staff. i2 Technologies dropped $1.94 to $13.50, and Commerce One shed $2.24 to $5.61.

    Redback Networks dropped $1.93 to $9.77 after warning it will post a loss in its first quarter. Other network-equipment stocks fell as well. Ciena shed $6.75 to $35.69, while Tellabs and Lucent Technologies lopped off $2.25 and 98 cents, respectively.

    Consumer-electronics chain Best Buy bucked the trend after it easily topped analyst estimates for the fourth quarter. Its shares closed up $3.20 to $40.

    Intel lost 86 cents to finish at $24.94. Advanced Micro Devices lost $1.85 to $23.65, and IBM closed off $4.27 at $90.39.

    Microsoft dipped $2.44 to $53.38. Oracle sawed off $2.07 to $13.25, and Sun Microsystems closed off $1.11 to $14.08.

    PSINet said it was delaying filing its annual report and warned it could declare bankruptcy. The Internet service provider also said it expects to take "significant" restructuring charges for the fourth quarter of 2000. Trading in the stock was halted at 19 cents.

    Yahoo fell $2.63 to $11.38. AOL Time Warner shed $3.27 to $33.90, while Amazon.com and eBay tumbled 47 cents and $4.63, respectively. Amazon closed at $8.63, and eBay closed at $30.69.

    Inktomi plunged $3.43 to $2.79 after warning on Monday of a wider-than-expected loss.

    Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer dropped 63 cents to $23.44, Compaq Computer dipped $1.49 to $16.49, Gateway lost 90 cents to $15.05, and Apple Computer ended off $1.35 to $20.24.

    Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.