Tech companies' share prices drop

Nasdaq Composite Index falls more than 9 percent

The tech industry showed Monday it is not invulnerable to the economic slowdown as stock prices declined for a number of major companies,The Mercury News reports.

Apple Computer Inc.'s stock plunged by nearly 18 percent Monday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell more than 9 percent overall. But several analysts said they viewed Apple's precipitous decline as more of a knee-jerk reaction on a day that the House of Representatives rejected a massive bailout for the troubled financial sector, rather than a sign the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker is facing serious trouble over the long haul.

"It's purely fear right now," said Jay Somaney, a portfolio manager at TSG Capital. "The markets are just panicked."

Other major tech companies saw their share prices drop significantly. Google shares fell 11.6 percent to close at $381 ? falling below $400 for the first time in two years ? while Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Yahoo Inc. each declined more than 10 percent.

Microsoft Corp. shares fell 8.7 percent. Its general counsel, Brad Smith, issued a statement urging the House of Representatives to "reconsider and to support legislation that will reinstill confidence and stability in the financial markets."

But Apple had the worst decline. After seeing its shares nearly double in value over the past 12 months ? at one point reaching $202.98 last year ? Apple's stock dropped as low as $100.59 Monday after three analysts issued critical reports. It closed at $105.26.

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