Updated from 2:22 p.m. EST with new stock pricesTech stocks faced a rough day as some of the sector's biggest names took a beating on fears of an economic slowdown. Apple ( AAPL) has retreated significantly from the $200-mark on Dec. 26 and was off $14.88, or 7.6%, to $180.05 Friday. The stock was down despite a research note from Goldman Sachs that said Apple enjoyed good holiday sales and is likely to report strong earnings in the first quarter. Goldman also raised its six-month price target for Apple stock to $220 from $205. Mobile handset companies were also getting crushed. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion ( RIMM) was down $9.47, or 8.4%, to $103.35. Motorola ( MOT) was off 98 cents, or 6.1%, to $15.07. Chip stocks continued to fall as Intel ( INTC) received a fresh downgrade from a Wall Street firm. A JPMorgan analyst downgraded Intel to neutral from overweight and said that the company experienced a late-quarter slowdown in order rates from the PC market. Intel had already been beaten down in the last two days after Banc of America analysts said they are adopting a more cautious stance on the sector because of a weak macroeconomic outlook and higher-than-optimal inventory levels. Intel fell $2.00, or 8.1%, to $22.67. Rival AMD ( AMD) also continued to sink and was off 52 cents, or 7.7%, to $6.25, touching a new 52-week low.
Smaller chipmaker Micrel Semiconductor ( MCRL) sunk 19.7% after it reduced its fourth- quarter guidance. The company said it now projects revenue to be approximately $64 million, which is lower than its Oct. 25 forecast of $66.5 million to $67.8 million. The shortfall is attributed to lower-than-expected orders from customers in China and Korea. Earnings are now forecast in the range of 10 cents to 11 cents, compared with previous guidance of 13 cents. Shares of Micrel were off $1.54 to $6.28. Dell ( DELL) fell $1.62, or 6.8%, to $22.09 on worries that the PC sector could face a slowdown because of lowered tech spending by businesses.