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TECH STOCKS: Slip Sliding Away

All major stock indexes lost ground as fear of terrorism and interest-rate hikes put the bears in control.
Mixed financial news and another terrorist attack sent the markets lower Tuesday. News from the Institute for Supply Management that nonmanufacturing activity leaped to 65.1 in July, its highest level ever, from 60.6 in June didn't seem to faze investors concerned over rising interest rates and continued terrorist attacks.

"Portfolio managers have decided to back away. They have lost their nerve," Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany, told The Associated Press. "They are asking: 'Will the rise in interest rates impact consumer spending and business spending?' It may very well."

Analysts say a car bombing in Indonesia caused little reason for the bulls to surface.

All the major indexes closed lower, with tech stocks sustaining the biggest decline. The Nasdaq composite index fell 40.50 points, or 2.4%, to close at 1,673.56. The Dow Jones industrials fell 149.72 points, or 1.6%, to end the day at 9,036.32. And the S&P 500 fell 17.35 points, or 1.8%, to close at 965.47. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell $1.24, or 3.9%, to $30.21.

Our InformationWeek 100 index didn't escape the sell-off; it fell 5.73 points, or 2.3%, to end a gloomy day of tech trading at 249.35.