U-S stocks plunged across the board on Friday, as investors fled at the news of another profit warning by a blue chip company - this time technology company Intel Corporation.
In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 110.53 to 10-thousand-654.99.
Broader stock indicators were also lower.
The technology focused Nasdaq composite index was down 110.03 at 3-thousand-718.84, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 20.49 at 1-thousand-428.56.
Analysts said investors have been concerned primarily with three issues in recent weeks - earnings, the decline in value of the euro, and rising energy prices - collectively known as the "Big Three."
All three are inextricably linked in the global marketplace, say analysts, citing the Intel warning as a textbook example.
In this case, with Europe's single currency hovering around all-time lows, large, multinational corporations are feeling the pinch in their European operations.
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, announced after the close of Thursday's trading session that it expects third-quarter revenues to fall below earlier expectations.
The company specifically blamed a fall-off in demand in Europe for the weaker results.
The news prompted analysts at half a dozen investment banks on Friday to lower their ratings on Intel's stock, further fueling the atmosphere of panic among investors in one of Wall Street's most widely held stocks.
Shares of Intel were changing hands at a furious pace on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Volume reached 197 (m) million shares before noon, breaking in just half a session the all time daily volume record of 172 (m) million shares set by Oracle Corp. in December 1997.
Intel's average daily volume is 38 (m) million shares.
Intel's shares were down 12.67 U-S dollars, or 21 percent, to 48.81 U-S dollars.
Investors began fleeing the market in after-hours trading on Thursday evening, and that exodus continued and grew at Friday's opening.
Intel led the way, but other widely held technology stocks also felt investors' wrath.
Microsoft was down 2.31 U-S dollars at 61.88 U-S dollars, Cisco Systems fell 1.69 U-S dollars to 59.44 U-S dollars, and Dell Computers dropped 3.31 U-S dollars to 34.63 U-S dollars.
With third-quarter earnings season just a few weeks away and increasing signs that the U-S economy is slowing, investors have been punishing stocks whose companies fail to meet their expectations.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 2-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 563.58 (m) million shares, well ahead of Thursday's pace.
The Russell 2000 index fell 4.92 to 509.42.
"An awful lot of these technology stocks still sell at very very high price-earnings multiples, so any hint of a slowdown in that business that may affect earnings of course can have an exaggerated impact, or a compounded impact, because those multiples are very high reflecting very very high expectations, so the least little disappointment can cause a pretty big ripple, so to speak, in those technology stocks."
SUPER CAPTION: Dick McCabe, Merrill Lynch
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