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3/31/2004
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Tech Stocks: Losing Day Ends Losing Quarter

Stocks fell Wednesday as the major indexes all ended the first quarter with losses.

The first quarter of 2004 ended on a down note Wednesday as some weak growth figures in the manufacturing sector led to modest declines.

The Dow Jones industrials and the Nasdaq composite index ended the first three months of 2004 with losses, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index posted a modest gain. All three gauges were down in March.

Investors sought safety after two days of robust gains and ahead of a much-anticipated jobs report due Friday. In addition, the Institute for Supply Management releases its report on manufacturing activity Thursday.

For the day, the InformationWeek 100 was down 0.4%, or 1.18 points, to 327.52, and the Nasdaq index fell 6.41 points, or 0.3%, to 1,994.22. The Dow fell 24.00 points, or 0.2%, to 10,357.70, and the S&P 500 fell 0.8 of a point, or 0.1%, to 1,126.21. For the month, the Dow fell 2.1%, the Nasdaq fell 1.8%, and the S&P 500 fell 1.6%.

Software maker QLogic Corp. was down $9.69, or 23%, to $33 after saying it expects a revenue shortfall for the fourth quarter because of declining orders from manufacturers and a drop in sales of its storage network components. A number of brokerage firms cut the company's rating.

Other tech issues also ended lower. EMC fell 2.5%, or 35 cents, to $13.61; Cisco Systems fell 1.5%, or 36 cents, to $23.57; AT&T fell 1.2%, or 24 cents, to $19.57; Microsoft fell 1.1%, or 27 cents, to $24.93; Dell fell 0.9%, or 30 cents, to $33.62; Intel fell 0.8%, or 23 cents, to $27.20; and IBM fell 0.5%, or 48 cents, to $91.84. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 0.2%, or 7 cents, to $35.84, as nearly 86 million shares changed hands.

See the full listing of all the companies in the InformationWeek 100 and the top 5 percentage winners and losers for the last closing at informationweek.com/stocks.

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