By Benjamin Pimentel and Rex Crum, MarketWatch SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks retreated Wednesday, as the broad market sank after reported comments from a European Union official about the state of Japan's nuclear disaster. The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) fell nearly 2% to 2,616, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) shed more than 240 points. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) lost 2.4%, and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) was down 2.2%. Shares IBM Corp. (IBM) slipped 4% becoming the biggest decliner among Dow components. Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi also downgraded IBM's rating to market perform from outperform. Also in the red were shares of Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) , down 2.3%, and Intel Corp. (INTC) , which was off 1.7%. Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) slid 4.6% after JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna downgraded the stock to market perform from market outperform. Gauna said an Apple manufacturing partner in Asia was showing sales-growth deceleration even before the devastating Japan quake. On Tuesday, Apple announced it was delaying the launch of its iPad 2 tablet in Japan. Meanwhile, shares of Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) and Altera Corp. (ALTR) posted gains. Shares of Rambus Inc. (RMBS) also rose more than 3% a day after the chip-design company said it had renewed a patent license agrement with Toshiba Corp. Shares of Toshiba (TOSYY) dropped more than 12%.