Tech shares drag down Wall Street

TECH shares slumped yesterday, hit by worries about demand for semiconductors and data storage.

The Nasdaq bore the brunt of the day’s selling, led by data system services provider Citrix Systems. The stock was down in sympathy with small-cap Equinix, which plunged 33.1 per cent to $70.34 after it issued a revenue warning late on Tuesday. Citrix slid 14.1 per cent to $60.15.

Another blow to tech stocks came from Morgan Stanley’s downgrade of semiconductor companies Xilinx and Altera to “underweight” on concerns about a slowdown in Asian markets. Both fell more than two per cent.

The broader market, meanwhile, was hamstrung by a poor reading on private-sector employment and speculation about further quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 22.93 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 10,967.65. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched down 0.78 of a point, or 0.07 per cent, to 1,159.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 19.17 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 2,380.66.