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TECH STOCKS: Intel, Cisco Weigh Down Tech Stocks

By Dan Gallagher, MarketWatch SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks retreated Monday, weighed down by losses in shares of Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc., which also pressured the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares of Intel (INTC) fell 1.6% to close at $21.21, highlighting a decline in chip stocks after Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded the sector to market weight from overweight. "Our sector downgrade is more an indication of a more moderate though still optimistic view of the sector rather than any active concern about the chip stocks as a group," Wells Fargo said in a note. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) shed 2.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) lost 1.4% to close at 2,746. Intel and Cisco (CSCO), which slipped 1.1% to close at $18.20, were among the top decliners on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), which itself slipped 80 points. Late Sunday, Cisco was downgraded to sell from hold by Berenberg analyst Adnaan Ahmad, who cited "heightening competition" in enterprise and edge routing. "Cisco's recent results demonstrate once again how strongly the company's business is correlated with the macro environment," Ahmad said in a note. Three other Dow components -- Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , IBM Corp. (IBM) -- also fell. These declines offset a big gain in shares of Western Digital Corp. (WDC) following news of the company's $4.3 billion deal with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Shares of Western Digital rose 15.6% to close at $34.68. Shares of rival Seagate Technology PLC (STX) added 9% to close at $13.56, as analysts said the Western Digital deal was good news for the hard-disk-drive market. "This is a positive for the whole hard-disk-drive industry," said Wedbush analyst Kaushik Roy in an email. "Industry consolidation will most likely create a less-intense pricing environment. And thus gross margins of the overall industry should improve." Meanwhile, shares of Intevac Inc. (IVAC) fell 4.2% to close at $12.43 after Needham analyst Richard Kugele downgraded the capital-equipment manufacturer's stock to buy from strong buy. Kugele said lower spending from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies under Western Digital could reduce Intevac's growth rate. Shares of Ciena Corp. (CIEND) fell 9.8% to close at $25.98. The maker of telecommunications equipment reported first-quarter results and issued a lower-than-expected forecast for the current period.

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