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Thank goodness the trading day is over!

In addition to uncertainty about Tuesday's presidential election, investors had to contend with a reduced revenue forecast from PC giant

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, which sent shivers through the marketplace.

Warm and fuzzy feelings were few and far between today. Both the

Dow Jones Industrial Average and the

Nasdaq Composite Index -- which hit a fresh 52-week low today --closed with steep triple-digit losses.

For the fourth straight day, the Nasdaq -- down 12% for the week -- finished behind. The technology-laden index closed just above the 3000 level. The last time it dropped below that point was November 1999. The index is now nearly 40% off its March highs and down about 25% for the year.

The Dow, which also closed down for the fourth day in a row, is now down about 7.5% for the year.

Last night, Dell Computers stated earnings of 25 cents a share, in line with Wall Street's expectations. But the company warned that it saw its sales growing just 20% in the next fiscal year. That news followed a slew of disappointments from the PC-manufacturer. (

TheStreet.com

covered Dell's latest warning in separate

story.)

Predictably, Dell's announcement triggered research analysts to downgrade the company's stock.

Morgan Stanley

lowered its rating on Dell to neutral from outperform, while

Credit Suisse First Boston

reduced its 12-month price target for the company.

The most active stock on the

Nasdaq Composite Index, Dell tanked 18.9%.

Dell's woes spread to other names within the computer industry. Shares of

Compaq

(CPQ)

fell 5.2%, while

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

dropped 6.5%. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index

was recently down 8.8%.

The semiconductor industry, the success of which depends on the demand for computers, felt Dell's pain today. At last look, the

Philadephia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

ended off 6.6%. Shares of Intel, which were downgraded to neutral from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

, plunged 10.6%. Fellow chipmaker

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

decreased 7.9%, while

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

shed 7.5%.

Blue-chip stocks

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, closed lower by 4.9%, and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

, which closed down 8.9%, also fell in sympathy.

In fact, only six of the 30 blue chip stocks contributed to the Dow's upside at the close. Included in that small club were

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

, which closed up 3.1%,

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, which closed up 0.9%, and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, which finished higher by 1.2%.

On the heels of disappointing earnings news from

Guess?

(GES) - Get Report

, retail stocks sank. The

S&P Retail Index

closed off 4.9%. Shares of

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

decreased 7.3%, while

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

staggered 6.6%.

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Sector Watch

Defensive industries were about the only ones to see some upside today. The

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

gained 0.4% and the

Amex Tobacco Index

rose 1.97%.

Financial stocks suffered in today's selloff. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

closed down 3.6%.

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

was down sharply for the third day in a row, closing off by 5.4%, while

Bear Stearns

(BSC)

closed off 3.8%.

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Bonds/Economy

Bonds were marginally firmer today, with recent economic data providing a supportive environment and concerns about the equities markets encouraging a move to safety. Nervous equity markets are likely to drive the bond market.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was lately up 1/32 to 99 22/32, to yield 5.793%.

No market-moving economic data came out today.

The preliminary

Consumer Sentiment Index

(

definition |

chart ) for November came out at 10 a.m., revealing that consumer sentiment rose to 107.7 vs. expectations of 105.5.

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