Tech stocks took a precipitous fall along with the wider market Tuesday as investors weighed a slip in consumer confidence.

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index slid to a reading of 105 in August, from a revised 111.9 in July. A representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households cited softening business conditions brought on by volatile financial markets and continued credit concerns as reasons.

Among tech stocks, Maxim Integrated Products ( MXIM) fell 5.5% after being downgraded by Banc of America Securities to neutral from buy. The company has delayed filing some financial reports while it investigates possible stock option backdating, putting it at risk of being delisted from the Nasdaq. Shares fell $1.73 to $29.39

Maxim and fellow chipmaker Nvidia ( NVDA), which was off $2.80, or 5.7%, to $46.54, were a drag on the Nasdaq 100. The index was falling almost 43 points to about 1905.

The semiconductor space as a whole was losing ground. Giant Intel ( INTC) was off 40 cents, or 1.6%, to $24.05 Texas Instruments ( TXN) was shedding $1.07, or 3.1%, to $33.39.

Chipmaker Sigma Designs ( SIGM) bucked that trend. Shares edged higher by 2%, after the stock was upgraded by Am Tech/JSA Research to neutral from sell. Sigma added 74 cents to $37.65.

Also gaining ground was Internet access provider Earthlink ( ELNK). Shares jumped 7% after the company announced a corporate restructuring expected to save between $60 million and $70 million in facility exit and associated costs.

The plan, which includes 900 layoffs and the closure of four offices, is expected to save between $25 million and $35 million this year. The company also lowered its third-quarter outlook, calling for a pro forma net loss of about 76 cents a share on sales of between $290 million and $300 million. Still, shares rallied 48 cents to $7.34.

Mind CTI ( MNDO), an Israeli provider of billing and customer care software, jumped 9.6% after announcing it had won two new contracts with U.S. companies, which it did not name. Shares gained 22 cents to $2.51.

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