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The Federal Reserve Board threw a wet blanket over the stock markets Wednesday, suppressing investor enthusiasm with a lackluster appraisal of the economy and a quarter-of-a-point cut to the Fed Fund rate. That key rate is now 1%, its lowest level in 45 years.
As a result, trading in tech sectors was generally muted. Apple Computer (AAPL) rose 31 cents, or 1.7%, to $19.09; Cisco Systems (CSCO) rose 12 cents, or 0.7%, to $16.87; Motorola (MOT) rose 6 cents, or 0.6%, to $9.45; Dell Computer (DELL) fell 20 cents, or 0.6%, to $31.13; IBM (IBM) fell $1.14, or 1.4%, to $82.49; and Microsoft (MSFT) fell 44 cents, or 1.7%, to $25.26.
The major indexes all suffered minor losses. The Nasdaq index fell 0.2%, or 2.98 points, to 1,602.63, and the InformationWeek 100, which was basically unchanged, fell 0.02%, or 0.05 points, to 243.58. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 0.54%, or 16 cents, to $29.52, on volume of 93 million shares.
Less tech-heavy indexes fared even worse. The Dow fell 1.1%, or 98.32 points, to 9,011.53, and the S&P 500 fell 0.8%, or 8.14 points, to 975.31.