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MARKET CLOSE: Intel drags techs lower

Intel's earnings miss and the ubiquitous interest-rate concerns sent technology stocks into a tailspin Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite carved off another 71 points to close at 2,801.46 while the Dow shed 185 points to end at 10,232.16.

Two days after hitting an all-time high of more than 2,900 points, the Nasdaq now finds itself off more than 100 points in two trading days.

"The two biggest concerns were renewed concerns that interest rates will be increased in November and Intel missing its numbers," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co.

Intel Corp. (INTC) shares plunged 4 9/16 to 72 1/8 with more than 60 million shares changing hands after the chipmaker missed analysts' estimates for the second quarter in a row. Making matters worse, SG Cowen cut the its rating to "neutral" from "buy."

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) CEO Christopher Galvin said he continued to believe the company could improve its profits and said there were talks going on to find a viable financial restructuring for the Iridium LLC satellite project. This comes one day after it met analysts' estimates in its latest quarter. Still, its shares closed off 4 5/8 to 90 5/16.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) shares fell 4 3/4 to 105 1/4 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) fell 1/2 to 18 1/4.

Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) lost 1 1/16 to 44 7/16 while Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) and Gateway Inc. (GTW) fell 1 3/16 and 3/16 a share, respectively. Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) closed off 3 21/32 to 64 1/32 ahead of its earnings report.

E*Trade Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGRP) beat First Call's estimates with its fourth quarter results, but transaction figures and account growth show a slowdown compared to the third quarter. Its shares inched up 7/32 to 25 5/8.

Among other online brokerage stocks, Charles Schwab (SCH) lost 3 3/4 to 28 and DLJDirect (DIR) closed off 1/8 to 15 3/16.

Knight/Trimark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NITE) shed 3/4 to 24 3/8 despite topping First Call estimates for the third quarter Wednesday, but it was a hollow victory following a profit warning that nearly halved analyst expectations.

Iona Technologies (Nasdaq: IONA) added 2 7/8 to 18 after it posted third quarter earnings of 12 cents a share Wednesday, topping First Call's estimate of 10 cents a share.

America Online Inc. (AOL) slid 2 15/16 to 111 1/16 while Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) closed off 5 15/16 and 5 a share, respectively. Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) trimmed 2 3/16 to 42 13/16 and Lycos Inc. (LCOS) closed off 1 to 58 7/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) shed 1 7/16 to 70 5/16 and 3Com Corp. (COMS) rose 1 1/18 to finish at 30 1/4.