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Tech stocks continue downward spiral

Analysts are split over how long the tech-stock bear market will continue. The NASDAQ dropped a further 6% yesterday, taking it below 2000 for the first time in over 2 years.

Middle East tech stock traders hoping the NASDAQ would bottom-out at 2000 were hit with another 6% down-day yesterday as reverberations from a Cisco job-cutting announcement dragged the market down.

The index finished Monday on 1923.38 as analysts cut profit forecasts after Cisco, considered by many investors as the global benchmark for technology stocks, said late Friday it will cut a sixth of its workforce because orders aren't meeting expectations.

Cisco fell 8.8 percent and dropped 6 cents to $18.75 in after- hours trading.

More bad news from Ericsson also gave traders the jitters. Ericsson said it forecast a first-quarter pretax loss of 4 billion to 5 billion kronor ($406 million to $508 million) with sales unchanged or "somewhat lower" than a year earlier.

The telecom equipment sector was hardest hit yesterday, registering an 8.32% fall on Bloomberg.com’s tracking service.

No sector was immune, however, with computer hardware, software and Internet stocks all falling by over 5% on the day.

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