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Juniper drags down tech stocks

Attendees pass the Juniper Networks pavilion in a trade show.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Attendees pass the Juniper Networks pavilion in a trade show.

Juniper Networks issued a disappointing forecast, but the weakness in stocks of its rival may not be justified, according to a Barclays analyst.

"We think part of the miss could be company-specific given Juniper's routing product cycle had been somewhat extended," Mark Moskowitz of Barclays, said in a note Tuesday.

Competitors F5 Networks, Cisco, Nokia and Ericsson all traded lower in sympathy with Juniper's weak outlook.

Juniper shares closed down 7.35 percent Tuesday after the company said it expects first quarter earnings below prior guidance, citing weak demand from enterprise, U.S. and European telecom customers. The company's stock was down 7 percent in afternoon trading.

Technology will be a big focus for traders in the coming days as the large-cap technology earnings season kicks off next week with IBM, Intel and Microsoft reporting results. According to Thomson Reuters IBES, the technology sector's earnings are expected to show a near 5.5 percent decline over last year.