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Chip bellwether



was down 2.5% in early trading as the semiconductor group headed lower on new industry data and

analyst comments.


Semiconductor Industry Association

said chip sales fell 6% in the Americas and 3% worldwide from the third quarter to the fourth.

Credit Suisse First Boston

said inventory levels have worsened in recent months and may not shrink until the end of the second quarter.

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Lehman Brothers

said "semiconductor revenue growth will decline into negative comparisons by mid-2001."



was down 8.3%.

Applied Materials


was down 5.2%. The

Semiconductor Index


was down 3.5%.