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Byline: CRAIG SHAW
NYSE stocks' early gains turned into heavy losses Tuesday as defense and tobacco stocks wilted and FedEx warned. The Dow and S&P 500 both fell 1.7% in lighter volume.
A heavy sell-off drove defense stocks to long-term support lines. Alliant Techsystems plunged 5.40, or 8%, to 62 on more than triple its normal trade, bouncing off its 200-day moving average. It hadn't been near that line since January. An analyst covering the stock said there was no news to account for the steep drop.
L-3 Communications Holdings slipped 2.09 to 54.51 as volume surged sixfold. The supplier of defense communication systems has given up nearly 19% …