Tech stocks were sharply down Friday as market indices fell on fears that of continued financial-sector woes and a slowdown in the U.S. economy. Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) bucked the general trend, gaining 6.4% following reports Thursday that rival Intel ( INTC) is
being investigated by the New York Attorney General's office for possible antitrust-related concerns. AMD is now up from its 52-week low. Shares rose 38 cents to $6.34. Juniper Networks ( JNPR) fell 13.6% after Microsoft ( MSFT) said it has hired Stephen Elop, formerly chief operating officer at Juniper, to be the president of Microsoft's business division. Elop will start at Microsoft at the end of January. Shares of Juniper declined $4.17 to $26.50. RF Micro Devices ( RFMD) plunged 24.1% after the company offered a weak earnings outlook. For the third quarter ended Dec. 29, RF said revenue is likely to be $268 million and earnings, before items, are estimated at 6 cents to 7 cents a share. Analysts were looking for a profit of 8 cents and a top line of $282 million. Shares of RF Micro were down $1.21 to $24.10. Logitech ( LOGI) fell 5.6% a day after the company's shares soared on chatter that Microsoft may make a bid for it. Logitech was also downgraded by a Wall Street analyst on the belief that a slowdown in consumer spending could affect demand for the company's products and that a takeover by Microsoft is unlikely. Shares of Logitech were down $1.87 to $31.20. Microsoft shares fell 38 cents, or 1.1%, to $33.95.
Blackberry maker Research In Motion ( RIMM) was off $5.61, or 5.6%, to $95.05 after an analyst at Canaccord Adams downgraded the stock lowered its price target to $110 from $145. A slowdown in the economy could affect business spending. Companies that are RIM's biggest customers could wait to upgrade their Blackberrys, wrote analyst Peter Misek. Garmin ( GRMN) fell 4.6% as investors continued to fear that declining prices of personal navigation devices would eat into the company's margins and increased competition could slow its growth. Shares of Garmin were down $3.67 to $74.43. The stock has declined nearly 16% in the last five days. Apple ( AAPL) traded 2.6% down ahead of the big Macworld conference that starts Monday. Investors eargly anticipate Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote on Tuesday. Apple may introduce new products this year as expectations run high. Shares of Apple were off $4.66 to $173.36.