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MARKET CLOSE: Nortel drags techs lower

Technology stocks tanked Wednesday as fiber-optic and chip issues plunged after Nortel posted disappointing third-quarter sales. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 190 points to 3,229.45 while the Dow fell 67 points to finish at 10,326.48.

"We can thank Nortel for a lot of this. It''s just a well-regarded growth company that did not meet revenue expectations," said Jack Shaughnessy, chief investment strategist at Advest. "The problems that are affecting Nortel are affecting a lot of technology companies."

Shares in Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) lost $18.31 to $45 after the company showed disappointing optical revenue growth in the third quarter.

Other fiber-optic equipment makers were pummeled as Ciena (CIEN) shed $27 to $108.38 and JDS Uniphase (JDSU) dropped $24.06 to $71. SDL (SDLI) plunged $81.81 to $234.19 while Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Applied Micro Circuits fell $4.25 and $50.31 a share, respectively. (Nasdaq: AMZN) jumped $2.31 to $31.88 after the company surprised investors with a smaller-than-expected loss. America Online (AOL) trimmed $1 to $47.02. eBay (EBAY) closed unchanged at $54.06 while Yahoo! (YHOO) and Lycos (LCOS) closed off $3.06 and $4.25 a share, respectively.

AT&T (NYSE: T) lost $3.50 to $23.38 after announcing plans to split itself into four separate businesses representing wireless, broadband, consumer and business markets.

Intel (INTC) shaved off 69 cents to $41.31. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) dropped $1 to $19.19 and IBM (IBM) closed off $3.88 to $87.56.

Microsoft (MSFT) clipped 25 cents to $61.25. Oracle (ORCL) fell $1.44 to $34.28 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) plunged $9.19 to $108.63. Inc.''s (Nasdaq: PCOR) shares shot up $2.69 to $6.13 on the news that Trilogy Software Inc. will acquire the web software maker. pcOrder also released its earnings for the third quarter.

Viant Corp. (Nasdaq: VIAN) trimmed 34 cents to $6.13 after it beat analyst estimates in the third quarter ended Sept. 29, posting a net loss of $1.1 million, or 2 cents a share. The company also reorganized to help turn around sagging performance.

Among widely held PC stocks, Compaq (CPQ) gained $1.15 to $28.15 after it topped estimates in its latest quarter and lowered guidance for the fourth quarter; Gateway (GTW) lost $1.97 to $48.01; Apple Computer (AAPL) trimmed 38 cents to $18.50 and Dell Computer (DELL) closed off 94 cents to $25.88.