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Stocks Slump on Cisco, Euro Debt Fears

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished lower Thursday, weighed down by Cisco's (CSCO - Get Report) weak sales guidance and concerns that more bailouts would be needed for debt-logged eurozone countries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 74 points, or 0.6%, to close at 11,283. The S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.4%, to 1213, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was dropped 23 points, or 0.9 %, to settle at 2555. Earlier in the session, the index sank as low as 2524.

Cisco , Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) were the Dow's biggest laggards. Pfizer (PFE), Chevron (CVX - Get Report) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) helped contain losses.

In a surprise early announcement before the closing bell, Disney said profits fell to $835 million or 43 cents a share, compared to $895 million or 47 cents a year earlier. The numbers were below estimates of 46 cents per share. The stock shed 3.8% to $35.56 and was falling 3% in extended trading.

Shares of Cisco finished the session 16% lower at $20.59 after the tech bluechip gave a disappointing sales guidance citing weak public sector spending. The news pressured stocks throughout the sector. HP shares lost 2.4% to $43.10 while shares of Altera (ALTR) declined 2.8% at $32.90.

Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group, said the fallout in the tech sector from Cisco's weaker-than-expected sales guidance is "completely overblown."

"I don't think Cisco is as much of a macro play as some people think, largely because Cisco gets a lot of its money from the public sector. So I think what the market is seeing today is more specific to the company and not the tech sector at large. If you were to look at the entirety of Cisco's revenue, I don't think it really suffered that significantly in any other areas outside of its public business."

"There are such high expectations for Cisco's revenue outlook and the whisper number was much higher so everyone who was in the stock for the sales guidance got out," he said. "Plus, today the bond market is close and there's no economic data. In the absence of these things, it's easy to sell the market down."

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