LONDON -- The

FTSE 100

dropped 83 points during a painful trading session today. Overall, the index suffered a 1.4% loss, finishing at 6081.6.

Among the stocks that filled the lines of the walking wounded were tech names such as

Affinity Internet

, down 600p, or 8.1%, to 74 pounds,

Staffware

, 500p, or 10.8%, lower at 41.50 pounds and

Baltimore Technology

, which closed 450p down, or 3.6%, at 120.50 pounds. The

TechMARK

closed 90.74 points, or 1.83%, lower at 4874.15.

Merger mania turned into merger apathy.

Norwich Union

and insurer

CGU

confirmed they will unite, but investors were left in tears. NU ended 39p, or 9%, lower at 396, and CGU had the smile wiped off its face with a loss of 22p, or 1.4%, to 774.5. Despite the somber mood,

Legal & General

refused to roll over and gained 1.75p, or 1.2%, to 151.75 amid speculation that it is the next takeover victim.

With the U.S. off on holiday, the Continent's stock markets were never able to get out from under the shadow of Wall Street's steep slide Friday. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt eked out a gain of 16.75, or 0.2%, to 7590.53, and the

CAC 40

in Paris finished 95.44, or 1.6%, lower at 5967.28.

Although most stocks were in the red the entire session, some specific issues were able to buck the downward trend. Luxury automaker

BMW

was able to build on gains made last week amid new speculation of a possible deal with

GM

(GM) - Get Report

to help out BMW's troubled

Land Rover

unit. BMW shares ended up 1.35 euros, or 5.2%, at 27.55.

And

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

and

Preussag

both surged as they tapped into Internet investor hype. Deutsche Bank ended up 4.67 euros, or 5.8%, at 85.22, after it announced an alliance with software giant

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

and

AOL Europe

(AOL)

for e-commerce and other Internet financial services. SAP was near unchanged at 870.10 euros. Preussag jumped 2.63 euros, or 6%, to 46.60, after the company said it plans to spin off its stuffy non-tourism business as well as develop an e-commerce unit.

Other stocks weren't so lucky.

Vivendi

finished down 2.30 euros, or 1.9%, to 117.20, erasing early gains on a report it was selling 40 power plants to a subsidiary of

Reliant Energy

(REI) - Get Report

.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

dropped 1.51 euros, or 1.7%, to 87.49, and

France Telecom

(FTE)

closed 4.90 euros lower, or 3%, at 159.10.