Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) tumbled 14% despite beating the estimates, as investors focused on much weaker than expected gross margins, evidence of pricing pressures.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (PHI: SOX) lost 2%, with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) also ending the day lower.

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) continued to slump ahead of its earnings report later this month, but Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) rose 2.7% on a Bernstein upgrade.

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and EMC (NYSE: EMC) were other gainers, while IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) lost ground.

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) slipped 0.5% on news that Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) is facing some legal issues.

VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) surged on their results, while Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) and International Rectifier (NYSE: IRF) slumped on their earnings reports.

Remember the old days when the brokers all raved about hi–tech internet companies and that they would carry us to stock market Nirvana? – well they did, for a while. Rather like (in our personal opinions), an Alfa Romeo, they were great, looked fantastic, drove forward in an inspiring way and then ……didnt’.

There is still uncertainty among internet and blue chip gurus as to how strong the underlying factors of these firms are, will there be money for R&D – will the internet marketing that a lot of these organisations rely upon, bring them their market share? Or are the pickers looking for stable returns and a known result? We are not stock brokers of course, but it seems that the above firms will have some harder times ahead and will need to keep their houses very clean indeed.