Semiconductor stocks show extreme sensitivity to economic conditions. If consumer product companies plan to cut the number of units they produce to survive a downturn, they'll order fewer semiconductor chips.So, the steady drumbeat of bad news about the economy over the past week and increased calls for a recession were not good for the technology sector. It started with a report last Friday showing November new home sales plummeting 9% sequentially and 34% year over year. That's the biggest annual drop since the 1990-1991 recession under the Bush Administation. Other bad signs included an 12% drop in mortgage applications for the week of Dec. 28 and the ISM Manufacturing index at 47.7 for December. A reading below 50 shows contraction in manufacturing activity. All the talk of recession roiled the stock market. The Dow shed 2.23%, the S&P 500 slipped 2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gave up 2.8% for the week ending Thursday, January 3. The average tech fund, excluding leveraged and inverse funds, lost 2.8% over the same period. The two worst-performing tech funds for the week ending Thursday both track the daily performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index. The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares ( USD), an exchanged-traded fund that targets 200% of the index's return, lost 12%, while the ( SMPIX) ProFunds Semiconductor UltraSector ProFund (SMPIX), an open-end mutual fund that tracks 150% of the index, sank 8.8%.