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Tech Stocks Tumble

Updated from 4:13 p.m. EST

Stocks plunged anew Thursday before mounting a late rally that erased the worst of the blue-chip losses and cut tech shares' declines almost in half.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 33.73 points, or 0.25%, at 13,266.29 -- nearly 200 points above its session low. The S&P 500 also rebounded from session lows, ending off by 0.85 point, or 0.06%, to 1474.77.

The Nasdaq Composite was the hardest hit, plunging by more than 90 points around midday. But by the finish it showed a loss of 52.76 points, or 1.92%, at 2696. Troubling comments from networking giant Cisco (CSCO) played a large role in the weakness.

"All of this comeback occurred in the last hour of trading, and the only thing we could point to is some short-term covering," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment officer with Oaktree Asset Management. "There is still a more exaggerated weakness in technology. We recovered a lot as the selloff may have been overdone, but it's hard to really take anything positive away from this. We still need to see some stabilization in equities, the dollar, oil prices and financials."

Once again, the market was steered by continued concerns over economic growth, the weak dollar and the financial crisis.

Cisco dragged on tech stocks after the company said it had a quarterly fiscal first-quarter profit of 37 cents a share, which topped Wall Street's estimates by a penny. Although the company provided in-line guidance, investors grew jittery after the tech behemoth said it is feeling the effects of the credit crunch. Shares of Cisco dropped $3.12, or 9.5%, to $29.63.

Major tech names that have seen big run-ups in recent months were particularly under pressure. Oracle (ORCL) plummeted 7.9%, Research In Motion (RIMM) spiraled 6.4% lower, Apple (AAPL) lost 5.8%, and Google (GOOG) slid 5.3%.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 4.74 billion shares changed hands, as falling stocks eked past advancers by a 9-to-8 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 3.40 billion shares, with losers edging winners 8 to 7.

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