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STOCKS PLUNGE ON EARNINGS WARNINGS

Sellers dominated Wall Street for a fifth straight session today after earnings warnings from Motorola and Sun Microsystems sent stocks sliding once again.

The Nasdaq composite index, already at its lowest level in more than two years, continued its descent as investors fled from technology and other stocks they viewed as risky in a weak economy.

At 1 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down 169.95 at 10,356.86. Broader stock indicators also fell. The Nasdaq was off 66.02 at 2,178.94, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 26.72 to 1,226.10.

All three indexes are now down for 2001. The Nasdaq is 56 percent off its all-time high of 5,048.62, reached last March.

Stocks opened down after Motorola reduced its first-quarter earnings outlook for a second time in two months, citing declining demand for its cell phones and computer chips.

The warning compounded an earlier warning from Sun Microsystems that the weak economic environment would hurt its third-quarter results.

Motorola fell 86 cents to $16.43 and Sun Microsystems was off 56 cents at $20.25.

Other tech stocks also fell, including Dow component IBM, which was off $7.43 to $101.47.

Weakness in financial and pharmaceutical stocks also pulled the blue-chip index lower. Banker J.P. Morgan Chase dropped 43 cents to $47.87 and Johnson & Johnson lost $1.22 to reach $95.30.

The losses were the latest indication of investors' worries that a better economy, and stronger corporate profits, may be a long ways off.

Analysts say the increasing signs of an economic slowdown -- ranging from economic data to incessant corporate profit warnings -- have made many on Wall Street hesitant to buy stocks.

Williams-Sonoma rose $1.95 to $24.95. The seller of kitchen goods and home furnishings said it expects fiscal fourth-quarter earnings to beat analysts' expectations by as much as 5.3 percent because of its effort to manage expenses, mark down prices and reduce inventory.

Nordstrom slipped 18 cents to $18.73. The department-store chain said first-quarter and 2001 profits will disappoint investors. The company, which put Nordstrom family members back in top management positions six months ago, has yet to find the right mix of styles, brands and prices in its men's and women's clothing departments.

Qualcomm had one of its worst days ever, as the shares tumbled $13 to $53.94. Irwin Jacobs, the mobile-phone technology company's founder and chief executive, said the release of new technology to provide services such as video and mobile banking promised by European telephone companies may be delayed by two years until late 2004, the Financial Times reported.

Qualcomm, which developed technology used by 71 million people, says it holds most of the intellectual copyright for the two main new standards.

Nokia Oyj dropped $1.75 to $21.50. Goldman, Sachs & Co. analyst Kulbinder Garcha cut the biggest mobile-phone maker to "outperform" from "recommend list," saying short-term prospects look "even worse than we expected."

EMC Corp. fell $1.16 to $39.19, while Ariba, a electronic-commerce software maker, dropped $1.13 to $16.75.

UnitedGlobalCom rose $2.56 to $15.06. Liberty Media Corp. will buy as many as 100,000 convertible preferred shares of the cable-television provider for $1.4 billion in cash, the companies said.

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