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TECH STOCKS HIT AGAIN DUE TO TROUBLE IN ASIA

Technology stocks were battered again on Thursday on the back of the continuing signs of trouble in South Korea, where the country’s currency kept falling. The trouble there sent shock waves to Japan and Europe, before hitting Wall Street, where the Nasdaq composite index fell 38.07 points, or 2.3% percent, to 1,558.54. Aside from Oracle Corp’s earnings woes, Microsoft Corp also said it was feeling the impact of a slowdown in computer sales in Japan, but chief Bill Gates said he wasn’t overly concerned. Redmond shares fell $3.1875 to $139.0625. Merrill Lynch & Co slashed its fourth-quarter estimates for IBM Corp, which also complained of slower PC demand in Japan, leading Big Blue shares down $4.875 to $101.625. Asia aside, Disk drive maker Quantum Corp warned of poor results and rival Seagate Technology Inc added to the problem by announcing it was shutting a plant in Ireland and cutting about 1,400 jobs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 129.80, or 1.6%, to 7,848.99, its fourth straight day of losses.

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CBR Staff Writer

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