Technology stocks fell moderately Wednesday, but not as sharply as the S&P 500's 3.1 percent midday decline. The group fell about 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the 30 chip stocks covered in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index lost only 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq 100 Technology Index declined 2.6 percent.

U.S. stocks slid overall amid concern the European debt crisis is deepening.

The biggest U.S. tech companies have major European customers and contracts and were not immune. IBM and Hewlett-Packard, the two biggest computer service companies, both declined more than 2.5 percent, while Apple was off 1.5 percent. Still, Apple's midday market capitalization exceeded $341 billion, keeping it ahead of Exxon Mobile's $336.5 million

Cisco Systems, the leading provider of Internet gear, fell 1.3 percent to $13.88, after setting a yearly low Tuesday. Cisco is scheduled to report financial results after the close.