NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell sharply Wednesday as investors nervous about rising interest rates bid prices lower amid a dearth of buyers.
At midday, the Nasdaq composite index was down 200.82, or 5.6 percent, at 3,374.19. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 144.02, or 1.4 percent, at 10,392.73.
The market was depressed by interest rate worries in advance of next Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Reserve's policy-making Open Market Committee. The Fed is expected to raise rates by as much as half a percentage point.
High-tech stocks led the declines amid investors' continuing dissatisfaction with that sector's high prices. Negative news this week about big high-tech names including Cisco Systems and Motorola contributed to the slump.
Volume was fairly light, continuing a string of quiet sessions as many market players stay on the sidelines awaiting the Fed's next move. That has forced sellers to drop their prices in hopes of attracting buyers.
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New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com
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