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TECH STOCKS: Confidence Dips, Markets Follow

A sharp drop in consumer confidence sent stocks lower.

A sharp and unexpected decline in consumer confidence sent stocks lower on Tuesday.

The Confidence Board reported that the consumer confidence index slid to 76.6 this month, compared with 83.5 just a month ago. Many analysts had anticipated the index to rise slightly.

Our InformationWeek 100 fell 0.6%, or 1.42 points, to 256.89. The Nasdaq fell 0.2%, or 3.96 points, to close at 1,731.37. The Dow Jones industrials slipped 0.7%, or 62.05 points, to end the day at 9,204.46. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7.24, or 0.7%, to 989.28.

The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 24 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $31.65, as more than 80.4 million shares changed hands.

"Consumer confidence came out and took the steam out of everything," Peter Dunay, chief market strategist at New York brokerage Wall Street Access, told The Associated Press. "It all boils down to concerns about unemployment. We are a consumer-driven economy, and if they can't find jobs, they can't spend."

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