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Investors were busy selling off shares of most semiconductors in afternoon trading as a prelude to



reporting its quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.

While there wasn't a mass exodus from the semis, they were down pretty much across the board, with few exceptions. Yesterday, the Street started buzzing about Intel's price reduction on its new

Pentium 4

chip, which in turn raised

questions about whether the chip giant would still be able to make its full-year earnings forecast or if the move marked the beginning of a price war with microprocessor maker

Advanced Micro Devices



In recent trading Tuesday, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

was off 1.6%, to 567.41. Shares of Intel slipped 84 cents, or 3.2%, to $25.46.



was also getting dragged down, dropping 10.9%, while Advanced Micro was off 3.7%.

Texas Instruments


, which will also report earnings after the bell, managed to weather the storm, gaining 1.7% in recent trading.

Most analysts agree that any rally the sector makes from here on out will come crashing back down until the semis bottom out. Last week, the chips started off slow but got a boost from the market on Tuesday and rode the trend into the long weekend. But they came back to reality on Monday as investors started selling the chip names. Many analysts said the semis haven't reached a bottom and added that the basement is still several months away.

"We think the Intel Inside brand is going to come under a lot of pressure," said Eric Ross, an analyst with

Thomas Weisel Partners

. He said he thinks company will say that "the PC market is fine and will bottom in the second quarter." He said that this will be good for the sector as a whole, but Intel may still have to lower its guidance for the remainder of the year. "There are Intel-specific issues," he said.