Well, it didn't take long for those weak technical conditions to do damage in the Nasdaq Composite. As noted here Monday, the index has been struggling to breach its 52-week highs for more than a week. On Tuesday, investors threw in the towel and took the index down more than 2% to 2107.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had not shown the same pattern of failed highs, lost almost 100 points, or 0.9%, to 10,630.78, while the S&P 500 lost 1.2% to 1188.04. Higher oil prices, tax-related profit-taking and all the usual excuses were blamed when the indices lost slight opening gains and started plunging after 10 a.m. EST. But the initial drop accelerated sharply after 2 p.m. EST, when the Federal Reserve released details behind its December decision to hike short-term rates. Minutes of the Dec. 14 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed the world just how committed the central bank is to raising rates further. A side comment about "excessive risk-taking" brought back memories of Alan Greenspan's Dec. 5, 1996, "irrational exuberance" remark. In reaction, pronounced weakness showed up in semiconductors, with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index down 3.3% on the day; homebuilders, with the Philadelphia Housing Index down 2.8%; and mining companies, with the Amex Gold Bugs index down 2.1%. Among individual names in those sectors, Intel ( INTC) dropped 2%, Centex ( CTX) shed 5% and Freeport McMoran ( FCX) lost 4%. McDonald's ( MCD), up 0.8%, was one of only four stocks in the Dow that finished in the green. Breadth was strongly negative, with three times as many stocks falling as rising on both the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. Also worrisome for bulls, the selloff was accompanied by rising volume, with 2.7 billion shares traded on the Nasdaq and 1.7 billion on the Big Board.