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IBM, Apple Fuel Slowdown Fears

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An earnings and revenue disappointment from IBM coupled with slowing growth from Apple renewed fears of an economic slowdown on Thursday.

Shares of Apple fell 9% Thursday despite stellar results, as investors fretted about the company's prediction of flat sequential growth in the current quarter and a 13% jump in the company's shares due to options, which will dilute earnings.

IBM added to the slowdown fears after the close with results that came in well below estimates. IBM's earnings of 85 cents a share and revenues of $22.9 billion missed Wall Street forecasts of 90-cent earnings and $23.65 billion revenues. IBM released its results two days early, citing a slowdown toward the end of the quarter. IBM shares fell 4% after hours.

Also after the close, Rambus and Sun also missed estimates, and RF Micro warned.

Stocks fell sharply once again on Thursday, skidding to new lows on the year.

The Nasdaq fell 27 to 1946, the S&P 500 lost 11 to 1162, and the Dow plunged 125 to 10,278. Volume rose to 2.35 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.93 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 25-7 on the NYSE, and 23-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 81% on the NYSE, and 81% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 18-118 on the NYSE, and 24-160 on the Nasdaq.

AMD fell 4.7% after the company posted an unexpected loss and announced plans to spin off its flash unit.

Infosys and JDA Software fell on warnings.

Systemax soared 23% on its results.

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