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TECH STOCKS: Big Losses Drag Down Tech Stocks

By Rex Crum Tech stocks ended up putting in a largely disappointing performance Tuesday as broad losses hit Texas Instruments Inc., Broadcom Corp. and most of the rest of sector as the market felt the impact of the debt crisis in Southern Europe. TI (TXN) gave up 62 cents a share, or 2.3%, to fall to $26.54 even though the communications chipmaker posted upbeat earnings results late Monday. Some analysts expressed concern about the chip market's ability to maintain its momentum through the rest of the year. Broadcom (BRCM) shares gave up $1.21, or 3.4%, to fall to $34.82 ahead of the chipmaker's quarterly results, due after the market close. Nearly every major tech stock was in the red. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) gave up $1.91 to fall to $128.82 even after the company said its board of directors approved hiking the quarterly dividend by 18% to 65 cents a share and buying back $8 billion in shares. With the new stock-buyback plan, IBM will have about $10 billion at its disposal to repurchase stock. Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIMM) U.S. shares gave $1.34, or almost 2%, to fall to $71.36. Late Monday, the company showed off an upcoming version of a new operating system for its BlackBerry smartphones to a group of industry analysts. Declines also came from Apple Inc. (AAPL), Dell Inc. (DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) fell more than 51 points, or 2%, to close at 2,471. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) was down 3.5% and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) shed 2.4%. At the heart of the market's decline was Standard & Poor's cutting its rating on Greece to junk status. Also adding to the losses were concerns about the U.S. housing market and the testimony of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) executives on Capitol Hill. One of the few advancers was printing and imaging company Lexmark International Group Inc. (LXK).Lexmark's shares rose 13 cents to $40.08 following the printing and imaging company's first-quarter earnings report. Before the market opened, Lexmark said it earned $95.3 million, or $1.20 a share, on $1.04 billion in sales for the quarter, up from earnings of $59.2 million or 75 cents a share on revenue of $944 million in the same period a year ago. Telecom-equipment company Tellabs Inc. (TLAB) climbed 41 cents a share, or 5%, to $8.63 after the company reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter results.

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