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10 big tech stocks still 50% below 2000 levels

Whoopee! The Nasdaq Composite index is back to its highest level since the beginning of the end for big tech stocks. But there's still plenty of pain around for investors who picked poorly.

There are 10 stocks in the Nasdaq 100 index, including satellite broadcaster Sirius XM, network optimizer Akamai, online content company Yahoo and networking giant Cisco Systems that are still 50% or much more below where they were trading on the tech peak of March 10, 2000. The Nasdaq 100 contains the 100 largest non-financial stocks on the Nasdaq, including most of the most-loved stocks during the tech boom.

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These once-ballyhooed tech stocks are still hurting even while the broad Nasdaq composite index is hitting a 14-year high today and rallying to the best level since March 31, 2000.

The disconnect is yet another example (as if investors needed another one) of the incredible difficulty of picking individual stocks, especially in a hot sector. Even if investors identified technology as a promising area, choosing one of these fallen stocks that can't get up would have been a brutal blow to a portfolio. Not only are investors still holding these stocks down 50% or more, they've missed out on a powerful rally that's pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 up 41% since March 10, 2000.

And get this. Even had investors just bought the Nasdaq 100 in the form of the PowerShares QQQ Trust, they would be just a good market year or two away break-even, a bummer, but nowhere near a 50% loss. The so-called QQQQ is down 14.4% since March 10, 2000.

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So, what's been the biggest tech-stock disaster? Really, nothing comes near Sirius XM. Perhaps you can't remember back this far, but this company that beams radio transmissions using satellite was supposed to reinvent everything. Oops. Then came smartphones and low-cost radio streaming services like Pandora, Microsoft's box Music and Spotify. Investors' ears are still ringing if they bet on Sirius, as the shares are down 94%. Ouch!

Another good example is Yahoo. Back in 2000, everyone had their browsers to automatically set to load the "Web portal." Today? Not so much. It's not all bad. Back in 2000, when Yahoo was a promising concept, the company reported revenue of $1.1 billion. Over the past 12 months, Yahoo reported revenue of $4.6 billion. But the growth is long gone. The company's revenue is down by a third from where it was in 2008. And the stock reflects the reality, down 58% from March 10, 2000.

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Tech moves fast. You don't want to be sitting in the wrong stock.

Below are the 10 Nasdaq 100 stocks that are down 50% or more from their price on March 10, 2000:

Company
Symbol
Stock % ch. From 3/10/2000
Sirius XM SIRI -94%
Akamai AKAM -79.60%
Broadcom BRCM -76.50%
Vodafone VOD -75.10%
NetApp NTAP -65.10%
Cisco Systems CSCO -64%
Yahoo YHOO -57.90%
CA Technologies CA -57.60%
Maxim Integrated MXIM -56.30%
Applied Materials AMAT -54.30%

—By Matt Krantz, USA Today

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