Beaten down by corporate profit warnings and a semiconductor-industry downgrade, technology shares went home bloody today. Software manufacturers

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

and

BMC Software

(BMCS)

led the session's plunge.

Late Monday, software bellwether Computer Associates stated that it expected to miss Wall Street profit estimates, due to weak European sales and softness in its mainframe business. Despite the timing of the announcement, which was just before the Fourth of July holiday, Wall Street took heed.

Credit Suisse First Boston

,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

,

Banc of America

and

Goldman Sachs

downgraded the stock this morning. Earlier today, the company's stock hit a 52-week low of 28 1/2. Computer Associates shares finished down 21 5/8, or 42.3%, to 29 1/2.

After announcing a shortfall today in fiscal first-quarter revenue, BMC Software ended lower 14 3/16, or 40%, to 21 5/16.

Entrust Technologies

(ENTU)

, which also issued a warning, plummeted 40 1/2, or 52.5%, to close at 36 5/8. Entrust, a provider of e-business solutions, was downgraded by both

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

and Goldman Sachs.

To add insult to the profit-warning injuries, this morning

Salomon Smith Barney

analyst Jonathan Joseph cut his rating on the semiconductor industry to neutral from outperform. "Though a slowdown in the group may take six to nine months, we see 'first mover' evidence of a trend reversal in decelerating industry unit shipments," he wrote.

The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

closed down 113.7, or 8.3%, to 1082. Chipmakers that reeled from the analyst action include

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

, which lost 9 3/4, or 11.6%, to 74. Although Dow component

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was not downgraded, its shares fell 5 1/4, or 3.8%, to 131 5/8.

All told, the

Nasdaq Composite Index ended lower 128.8, or 3.2%, to 3863.1.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was off 29.82, or 3.5%, to 817.2.

One week after company president Ray Lane announced his resignation, software giant

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was downgraded by

J.P. Morgan

this morning because of valuation concerns. J.P Morgan also said Lane's resignation is "extremely negative" news for the company because he had been there for more than eight years. Oracle finished behind 7 13/16, or 9.7%, to 72 3/8.

2:23 P.M.: A Beating for Tech Stocks

On the heels of three disappointing corporate earnings forecasts, investors are battering technology stocks this afternoon.

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

and

BMC Software

(BMCS)

are leading the plunge.

Late Monday, software bellwether Computer Associates announced that it expected to miss Wall Street profit estimates due to weak European sales and softness in its mainframe business.

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded the stock this morning to buy from strong buy. Shares of CA were recently beaten down 21 13/16, or 43%, to 29 1/4. This morning, CA's stock was as low as 28 1/2, a new 52-week low.

After announcing a shortfall today in fiscal first-quarter revenue, BMC Software was down 13 1/16, or 36.6%, to 22 1/2.

Entrust Technologies

(ENTU)

, which also issued a warning, was down 42 1/16, or 54.5%, to 35 1/16. Entrust, an e-business solutions provider, was downgraded by both

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

and

Goldman Sachs

.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index was lately down 78.5, or 2%, to 3913.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was off 12.35, or 1.4%, to 834.8.

Further contributing to the Nasdaq's decline was the announcement this morning that

Salomon Smith Barney

downgraded the semiconductor industry. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was down 98, or 8.3%, to 1082. Chipmakers reeling from the analyst action include

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

, which recently lost 9 5/16, or 11.1%, to 74 15/16. Also suffering: Dow component

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, which was down 3 13/16, or 2.8%, 133 1/16.

And one week after company president Ray Lane announced his resignation, software giant

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was downgraded by

J.P. Morgan

this morning because of valuation concerns. Oracle was recently off 6 11/16, or 8.3%, to 73 1/2. J.P Morgan also said Lane's resignation is "extremely negative" news for the company since he had been there for more than eight years.