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Poor Oracle Q2 drags tech stocks down

The stock market stumbled Tuesday, after Oracle Corp. released unexpectedly poor second-quarter results.

At the close of business, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 61.18 points to 8049.66, while the technology-laden NASDAQ composite index dropped 30.97 to 1620.57.

Oracle on Monday announced that sales were off in Asia, and reported net income of $187 million, or 19 cents per share, a mere 4.5 per cent increase from the year-ago quarter and four cents a share below analysts' expectations.

The trading houses reacted Tuesday morning by downgrading the company's stock, which then plunged into a free-fall. Oracle shares ended the day down $9.50 to $22.88. The volume of trades in Oracle set a record for the most shares of stock in one company traded on a single day.

The concern about Oracle - and the Asian markets - has spread to other stocks as well. Companies such as IBM and Microsoft Corp., both of which compete with Oracle in the database market, felt the blow, with IBM down $2.56 to $110.31 and Microsoft off $1.81 to $144.31.