Wall Street tumbles as oil hits $100, tech shares drop


Stocks accelerated their slide, tumbling for a second day on Wednesday as Libya’s violence pushed oil prices to $100 a barrel and tech shares sank, fueling worry of a market correction.

The Nasdaq led losses. Recent top tech gainers also lost ground, including Netflix (NFLX.O), down 5.7 percent at $208.87, and Salesforce.com (CRM.N), down 4.2 percent at $131.05.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) late Tuesday cut its 2011 revenue forecast on slipping demand for its personal computers, and at least six brokerages cut their price targets on the stocks. Shares sank 10.5 percent to $43.17.

The day’s drop follows a 2.1 percent decline in the S&P 500 on Wednesday, the index’s worst session since August.

The S&P 500 has risen about 25 percent since the start of September and many analysts have said a short-term correction is likely. Analysts eyed support at 1,296, the mid-January highs on the S&P 500, and also 1,286, the 50-day moving average.

Some saw the drop as a chance to buy, noting that the longer-term outlook remains bullish for stocks.

“This is an opportunity for investors. We’re taking advantage of any pullbacks and using them as an opportunity to enter stocks,” said Mike Gibbs, managing director and chief market strategist at Morgan Keegan in Memphis. He favors energy, technology and industrial sectors.

Oil futures in New York jumped to their highest since October 2008 amid worries about supply disruptions in Libya, a top oil producer.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) was down 121.55 points, or 1.00 percent, at 12,091.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX) was down 12.57 points, or 0.96 percent, at 1,302.87, after hitting an intraday low at 1,299.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) was down 44.34 points, or 1.61 percent, at 2,712.08.

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