By Rex Crum, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks ended May on a roundly negative note Friday as the sector helped drag the Nasdaq Composite Index to close with one of its worst monthly losses in more than a year.
Among leading tech stocks, losses came from Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.64% , Google Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +1.23% , IBM Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203856914/composite IBM +0.12% , Intel Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC +0.85% and Cisco Systems Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209509471/composite CSCO +0.47% .
The Nasdaq Composite Index at one point early in the session looked like it might scratch its way into positive territory. However, the tech-heavy market index stumbled, giving up almost 21 points, or 1%, to fall to 2,257.
For the month, the Nasdaq fell almost 9% and put in its worst monthly decline since sliding almost 11% in November 2008.
Other tech-related market gauges didn't fare much better, as the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index /zigman2/quotes/210598361/realtime SOX +1.20% gave up 1.6% on the day, the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index shed 1.1% and the Nasdaq Computer Index also closed in the red.
Leading the decline were the figures on U.S. consumer spending, which in April were unchanged after rising 0.6% in March. Fitch Ratings also added to the negativity by cutting its debt rating on Spain. See full story.
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Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.48% proved to be one of the few advancers on the day.. Apple rose $3.53 a share to $255.88 after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig raised his price target on the stock to $325 a share from $300. Craig said he based his new target price on anticipation of higher iPhone and iPad sales and better gross margins for Apple.
Additionally, the iPad went on sale in Japan to long lines of customers.
But Apple was a rare exception, as stocks such as Dell Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203822527/composite DELL +0.68% , NetApp Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209297588/composite NTAP -0.49% , EMC Corp. and Broadcom Corp. , all of which were up earlier, ended up closing out the week with losses.