Old Economy Names, Tech Sectors Combine to Drag Down Indices - TheStreet

On a tough down day for the markets, several individual sectors led the major indices into negative territory. The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index fell more than 3%, while the

Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.7%.

The

Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index

fell 4.2%. The hardware component of the index fell 4%, while the software group lost 4.3%. Telecom equipment companies

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

and

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

led the

Dow Jones Communcations Technology Index

down 5%. The

Amex Networking Index

, a comparable indicator, fell 4.2% and the

Nasdaq Telecom Index

was down 3.9%.

Further pushing down the tech indices was the semiconductors space, an usually volatile sector that lost ground today. The

Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index

fell 4.3%, while the more closely watched

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

fell 4.6%. Names such as

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

, which was down 6.4% to $31.86, and

Micron Tech

(MU) - Get Report

, lower by 6.6% to $38.21, contributed to the weakness.

Other sectors hard hit by today's market pessimism included the industrial sector, as the

Dow Jones Diversified Mining Index

fell 5.2% today, and the railroad industry, which dropped 3.9%. The forest products and paper industry lost 2.9%, the aerospace and defense industry slipped 2.7%, and the industrial equipment sector fell 3.8%.

Defensive stocks such as pharmaceutical companies and gold rose today. The

Dow Jones Pharmaceutical Index

climbed 0.5%, but was certainly outdone by the

Dow Jones Precious Metal Index

, the biggest gainer of the day, rising 2.8%.