SAP helps sink NASDAQ, but the software maker may be a poor indicator

American investors have taken some comfort in the surprising resiliency of the international economy. As domestic business conditions remain anemic, the strength of emerging markets in regions like Asia and South America are supposed to provide a silver lining for American companies. Half of the revenue for companies listed on the S&P 500 index, after all, come from outside the U.S. – and many big tech names like Google (GOOG) and IBM (IBM) are doing particularly well overseas.

That's why SAP's (SAP) announcement on Wednesday morning that it now expects lower revenue for the full year than it previously forecast because of weakness in emerging markets and Japan understandably rattled investors. Shared of the Walldorf, Germany-based company tumbled nearly 10 percent to $46 on the day. That beating contributed mightily to the tech-heavy Nasdaq turning in the worst performance among the major indexes, dropping 2.66 percent, or 56 points, to 2,059.