The Dow Jones industrial average lost 87 points to close at 10,440.
"Investor confidence continues to get shaken to the bone" by these profits warnings, said Tom Galvin, chief investment office at CSFB. "It's pretty clear that they have given up buying on the dips in the market."
Technology stocks made a decent rally late in the session after Bear Stearns chief economist Wayne Angell said there was a 60 percent chance that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates by a half a percentage point early next week.
The Fed isn't scheduled to meet until March 20.
Wireless communications equipment maker Motorola shed $1.04 at $16.25 after it said it would not meet its first-quarter sales and earnings estimates--and may report a loss--because of a significant slowdown in orders across all of its business lines.
Intel closed unchanged at $30. Advanced Micro Devices gained 95 cents to $21.95, and IBM lost $4.90 to $104.
Sun Microsystems closed unchanged at $20.81 after warning it would fall well short of analysts' sales and earnings estimates this quarter.
BEA Systems gained $2.13 to $44.06 after it beat the Street in its latest quarter.
Microsoft picked up $1.25 at $56.44, and Oracle lost $1.38 to finish at $22.
Shares of Qualcomm fell $5.13 to $61.81 after a downgrade and a report that its latest wireless technology would be delayed in hitting European markets.
VerticalNet shares trimmed 6 cents to $3.47 after the business-to-business company came off a topsy-turvy year. Analysts are trying to figure out if it can get its new software division up and running fast enough to offset sluggish marketplace sales.
Telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies, which is battling massive losses, slid 13 cents to $12.40 even after it announced it has secured $6.5 billion in new financing. Cisco Systems added 38 cents to $26.81, and Nortel Networks trimmed 56 cents at $19.38.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell picked up $1.31 to $23.25, Compaq gained 56 cents to $22, Gateway rose 47 cents to $18.05, and Apple Computer finished unchanged at $18.81.
Yahoo moved up $1.44 at $25.44. America Online Time Warner lost $1.60 at $43.30, while Amazon.com and eBay shed 13 cents and 22 cents a share, respectively.
Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.