8-15-13 1:41 PM EDT | Email Article

By Rex Crum, MarketWatch


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Losses from Cisco Systems Inc. greased the skids for tech stocks in Thursday, leading the tech sector into the red with few signs of the decline turning around before the end of the day.


Cisco (CSCO) shares were off by 6.5% at $24.66. On Wednesday, the networking-equipment giant gave a less-than-enthusiastic earnings report and forecast, and said it would cut 4,000 jobs, or about 5% of its workforce. Chief Executive John Chambers said Cisco was having to adjust to a "challenging" and "inconsistent" economy


Cisco was headed for its worst single-day performance since May 10, 2012, when its stock price fell 10.5%


NetApp Inc. (NTAP) also retreated early, but came close to erasing its losses and was off by 31 cents a share at $42.02. NetApp's losses came after the data-storage technology company reported on Wednesday a first-quarter profit that rose 28% from the year-ago quarter, but gave a second-quarter outlook that was potentially below the estimates from Wall Street analysts.


Dell Inc. (DELL) was down slightly at $13.71 a share as the PC company said it would release its second-quarter results after Thursday's market close. Analysts expect Dell to report earnings of 24 cents a share.


Dell said it wouldn't be holding a conference call to discuss its results. Dell shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sept. 12 on a proposal by Chief Executive Michael Dell to take the company private.


Adding to the sentiment Thursday was reaction to a flurry of downbeat data about the U.S. economy, including a disappointing report on industrial production during July.


The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) was taking a beating, falling 60 points, or 1.7%, to 3,608, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) fell more than 2%.


Other notable decliners included Yelp Inc. (YELP), off by almost 5%; Seagate Technology (STX), which fell nearly 4%; Groupon Inc. (GRPN), off by almost 4%; Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM), which gave up 1.7% and eBay Inc. (EBAY), down by 3.8%.

-Rex Crum; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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08-15-13 1341ET

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Morningstar - 2013/8/15 - UPDATE: With Cisco in the lead, tech stocks slump
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