Market Update: Nasdaq Drops Like a Turkey and Hits New Low for Year

<LI>Lehman lowers outlook for Home Depot's earnings.</LI> <LI>Chip stocks one of few positive areas.</LI> <LI>Battered gold moving higher.</LI>
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Wall Street wasn't as quiet as it might have been ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Busy analysts and some bad earnings news had investors on their toes and stocks mired in the red. Meanwhile, the move to the downside is being exaggerated by slim trading volume and a thin roster of buyers.

The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index was sinking with a fury toward ever new 52-week lows. The

Dow was also accelerating to the downside. Both indices tried to pop into the green shortly after the open but their respective bounces quickly deflated. The

S&P 500 was also lower.

The selling was spread evenly throughout the market and few sectors were spared. In tech, a couple of semiconductor bellwethers were getting a bit of lift as investors searched for reliable and beaten down places in which to put their cash.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

were higher.

Analysts were out in force this morning. Casualties included telecommunications equipment maker

Lucent

(LU)

, biotech

Watson Pharmaceuticals

(WPI)

and the e-brokers, among others.

Lucent was off 6% after

UBS Warburg

cut its 12-month price target to $25 from $30. The action follows on the heels of several firms that took action yesterday after Lucent said it had incorrectly reported its fourth quarter results and could no longer confirm its guidance for the first quarter.

And the e-brokers were getting slammed after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

questioned their ability to navigate in bear markets like this one.

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

was off 12.3% and discount brokerage

Schwab

(SCH)

, which has a big online presence, was falling 8.2%.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

was hit by concerns about earnings. A rumor circulated this morning in the markets that the diversified industrial megacompany would be issuing a profit warning. GE, which has the biggest market capitalization of any stock and has been a model in terms of growth and management execution, this morning denied it has any such plans. Still, it was falling 2.8%.

TheStreet.com

took a look at

GE's press release.

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Sector Watch

Gold, gold gold. Gold was almost the only thing sparkling in today's market. Things have got to get pretty bad for you to buy gold. One of the most defensive of defensive sectors, gold stocks have been slaughtered since reaching their peak in early 1996. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index

, which tracks these commodity metals stocks, is down around 60% since last October. The index was lately up 2.8%.

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Bonds/Economy

Bond prices were rallying this morning on the improved chances of Gore winning the White House. The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was up 8/32 at 100 28/32, yielding 5.631%.

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