While today was a brutal day across U.S. markets in general, with the S&P 500 shedding a cool 1%, it was tech stocks that bore the worst of today's sell-off, as the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) dropped 1.5% in today's trading. The concerns driving the market were largely macroeconomic, per usual. Investors everywhere remained leery of risky investments after the IMF mentioned yesterday an increased likelihood that global growth will slow in 2013. This cascaded over to investor anxiety that Q3 earnings could bear weaker-than-expected corporate profits. However, today also saw three major tech storylines unfold and three big time sell-offs among familiar names.
First up, Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU ) the "Google of China," dropped on news for more Wall Street downgrades. Today's downgrade came from Credit Suisse, which cut the stock's rating from neutral to underperform while also slashing its target price from $118 to $83. This obviously hurts Baidu, whose stock has declined nearly 30% over the past six months. However, as both I and the Fool's senior tech analyst have detailed, Baidu's opportunity remains attractive over the long term, although the short-term outlook will likely remain volatile.
Next up is Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , whose stocks cratered only slightly less than Baidu's, plunging 5.3% after Jefferies & Co. posited that the company could again prove late in delivering its much-anticipated, and long overdue, BB10 smartphone operating system. The company has repeatedly reiterated that it will indeed ship its next-gen OS in the first quarter of 2013, but it's also delayed the release multiple times already. If history is any indication, this certainly isn't implausible.
Lastly on the downgrade bandwagon, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) also sold off today, reaching a new 52-week low. Several research houses cut their estimates on the world's largest semiconductor maker on concerns of weak end-user demand from the struggling PC market. While this of course isn't a new story, it remains an unfortunate note for Intel. However, with a dividend yield well in excess of 4% as the result of its recent slump, Intel is only getting more compelling to income investors.
In one story not related to the upgrade/downgrade game, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU ) retreated another 6% in the midst of the fallout from a congressional report on several of its Chinese competitors. And while Alcatel's short-term outlook remains far from rosy, a potential sales block on some of its key competitors should absolutely help Alcatel.
After its sell-off, Baidu looks downright cheap, even if it loses some market share on the margin to increased competition. However, if you're not completely sold on the Baidu story, you can always check out the Fool's premium research report on Baidu to get an even more comprehensive look at the Chinese search leader. Get started today.