If fewer people are interested in buying a new personal computer, then fewer investors want to own stakes in companies whose fortunes are tied to the sales of laptop and desktop machines.
That's the message emerging Thursday as Wall Street reacts to fresh evidence that PCs are turning into a dying breed of technology as consumers and businesses embrace smartphones and tablet computers.
The stocks of industry bellwethers Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. all sagged on the news that PCs suffered an unprecedented sales decline during the first three months of the year.
The double-digit percentage decline dimmed hopes that PCs would get a lift from a radical maker of Microsoft's Windows operating system. One research firm says Windows 8 has done more harm than good so far.
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