Traders were unloading technology shares after the market closed Thursday, as disappointing earnings and outlooks sent hardware, software and telecom issues lower.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was the volume leader on the Instinet platform, where it dropped 7.1% to $52.35. After the close, the software giant posted

disappointing quarterly results and took down its guidance.

Sun Micro

(SUNW) - Get Report

was off 4.1% to $8.17 after reporting a

narrower-than-expected loss but showing revenue that was a little shy of the consensus estimate.

Qwest

(Q)

was down 6.2% to $7.10 following news that the telco will

cut jobs, slash capital spending and miss its prior revenue targets. Online auctioneer

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

was dropping 5.9% to $49.90 despite topping analysts' expectations by a penny and posting revenue growth for the latest quarter.

The majority of the most active stocks were related to the technology sector.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

was down 2.1% to $15.11.

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was off 2%, and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was losing 2.1%.

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

was shedding 3.4%, and

WorldCom

(WCOM)

was down 2.7%.

The

Nasdaq 100 Unit Trust

(QQQ) - Get Report

was falling 1%, and the

S&P 500 Depositary Receipts

(SPY) - Get Report

gave up 0.6%.

Volume was on the heavy side. In the first 45 minutes of trading, more than 6.2 million shares changed hands among the top-20 volume movers on Instinet.