Telecom-related stocks plummeted Monday as the major averages reached multi-year lows following more fears of the spreading credit crisis.

Fears of a massive global slowdown heated up over the weekend as leaders from France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. met Saturday and agreed to coordinate efforts to prevent failures in Europe's financial system.

Despite having a $700-billion rescue plan in place, fear swept over Wall Street that financial markets would seize, affecting any company that depends on banks to keep floating money.

Investors quickly fled from equities to the so-called safe haven of credit markets, sending shares lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below the 10,000 threshold for the first time in nearly four years and both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were down more than 4% each.

Handset makers were hit especially hard, as Nokia ( NOK) slipped 8.5%, Motorola ( MOT) was falling 8% and Ericsson ( ERIC) lost 7.4%.

Among high-end device makers, Research in Motion ( RIMM) gave back nearly 10%, Palm ( PALM) was losing 9% and Apple ( AAPL) was down 6%.

Network equipment makers also saw shares slide dramatically. Nortel Networks ( NT) lost 13%, Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU) slid 11.6%, Cisco Systems ( CSCO) tumbled 5% and Juniper Networks ( JNPR) was off 3%.

U.S. wireless carriers were also losing ground. AT&T ( T) gave back 4.2%, Verizon ( VZ) fell 4.1% and Sprint Nextel ( S) dipped 0.5%. Deutsche Telekom ( DT), meanwhile, fell 1.7%.

Cable and satellite operators were also hit hard. Sirius XM ( SIRI) dropped nearly 14%, Cablevision ( CVC) dropped 8.7%, Dish Network ( DISH) was down 5.9% and Comcast ( CMCSA) slid 2.2%.

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