IBM has been the stand-out among big technology stocks this year, the company which has shown itself best positioned to withstand the storm spreading from the financial markets. So it’s a mark of Wall Street’s bleak new pessimism that even Big Blue is taking a pasting this week (according to Reuters, there has been speculation that IBM is about to cut its financial projections: when investors are in a mood to sell, that kind of rumour is like a spark to dry kindling.)
The deflation in tech has come in distinct stages. The eye-catching drop this year in the shares of companies like Google, Research in Motion and Apple has been mainly the result of compressed multiples: confidence in stretched valuation levels tends to evaporate at times like this. That took a new twist this week, with fears about weaker consumer spending taking a dent out of Apple directly.