By Rex Crum, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Concerns about election results in Italy weighed on U.S. markets on Monday, which led to selling in tech stocks and left much of the sector in the red.
The potential for a split parliament following Italy's latest election results led to worries about political instability in Europe's third-largest economy.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF), which had been in positive territory early in the session, ended the day down more than 45 points, or 1.4%, to 3,116, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) gave up nearly 2% and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) fell by 1.6%.
Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) was one of the few tech stocks to maintain its edge by the time the market closed. The online social-gaming company's shares ended the day up by 7.5% at $3.43, in the wake of measures taken late last week by the state of Nevada to legalize online poker, and New Jersey that would allow Internet-based gambling in conjunction with Atlantic City casinos.
Netflix Inc. (NFLX), which had been up as much as 3%, ended the day with a loss of 54 cents a share at $179.22. Chief Executive Reed Hastings discussed the company's recent original series "House of Cards" at the Morgan Stanley tech conference in San Francisco on Monday.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) shares gave up 13 cents to close at $19.07. The Wall Street Journal reported that board members are meeting with a group of investors seeking the ouster of three directors. The tech giant also introduced a low-end tablet device running on the Android mobile operating system at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.
Also, the company announced it has sold the webOS mobile operating system that it acquired with Palm Inc. to LG Electronics. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Facebook Inc. (FB) rose 14 cents a share to close at $27.50 . The social-networking giant said it would offer free or discounted messaging access to members in more than a dozen countries, via those members' mobile-phone operators. Facebook said the promotion would be available to members who use Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS and Facebook for Every Phone.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares fell 1.8% to close at $442.80. Archrival Samsung Electronics announced an event for New York City on March 14, where it is expected to debut its next Galaxy S smartphone.
Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) shares fell 2.3% to end the day at $20.73. The All Things D blog reported that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has instituted a new policy that requires all Yahoo employees who work remotely to relocate to company offices. The move is expected to affect several hundred Yahoo employees.
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