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%.
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
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
, which was down 6.4% to $31.86, and
, 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%.