Telecom Stocks Get Smacked

The sector gets hit amid a global downturn in stocks.
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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) - Get Report

slipped 8.5%,

Motorola

(MOT)

was falling 8% and

Ericsson

(ERIC) - Get Report

lost 7.4%.

Among high-end device makers,

Research in Motion

(RIMM)

gave back nearly 10%,

Palm

(PALM)

was losing 9% and

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

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) - Get Report

tumbled 5% and

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

was off 3%.

U.S. wireless carriers were also losing ground.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

gave back 4.2%,

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

fell 4.1% and

Sprint Nextel

(S) - Get Report

dipped 0.5%.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

, meanwhile, fell 1.7%.

Cable and satellite operators were also hit hard.

Sirius XM

(SIRI) - Get Report

dropped nearly 14%,

Cablevision

(CVC)

dropped 8.7%,

Dish Network

(DISH) - Get Report

was down 5.9% and

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

slid 2.2%.