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Market turns lower again

The Dow closes lower, unable to sustain a turnaround from last Tuesday's 299-point big decline.

The Dow Jones Industrials closed lower today after having fallen as much as 50.46 points earlier in the day, and were unable to sustain a turnaround from last Tuesday's 299-point big decline.

The Dow closed down 22.92 at 8,575.10. Broader markets closed lower also, with the Nasdaq down 7.65 at 1,839.12 and the S&P 500 down 5.85 at 1,083.6.

"Nothing really happened today," said Marc Usem, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney. "It's past the reporting period, and it's vacation time for many as we get into August."

Internet stocks, the darlings of the current bull market, were mixed. Lycos closed up more than 5 percent at 68, rebounding from the day's low of 62.63. Shares of Yahoo also were up, gaining more than 2 percent to 94.

The most dramatic activity of the day was with Netscape Communications stock, which rose sharply as Wall Street reacted to the company's announcement that it had named a new chief operating officer, as well as to growing expectations of a strong third quarter and talk of a possible alliance with Citicorp, analysts said. (See related story)

Netscape share rose nearly 25 percent to 31.19. The stock has traded as high as 44.63 and as low as 14.88 during the past 52 weeks.

Shares of Excite, however, closed lower today, down 0.3125 at 45.625. Fellow search engine Infoseek was down nearly 2.5 percent at 24.5, while online auctioneer Onsale fell nearly 2 percent to 25.

Several high-profile initial public offerings from Internet companies are expected this week, beginning with tomorrow's expected IPO from online community GeoCities. (See related story)

While the IPO market in general has not fared well this summer, Internet IPOs generally have soared. Broadcast.com stock, for example, more than tripled in value the first day it was traded in July, while Inktomi shares have risen 229.16 percent since the company's June IPO.

Reflecting this investor enthusiasm for Net IPOs, GeoCities today priced at $17 a share, up from the original price target of between $12 and $15. The company is looking to raise up to $80.75 million, floating out 4.75 million shares.

Even as analysts voice concerns about the market, lamenting the toll the Asia crisis and faltering corporate earnings have taken, GeoCities is expected to take off on its first day of trading.

"I think it is going to do very well," said Ken Fleming, a research analyst at Renaissance Captial's IPO Fund. "Certainly, the company is far away from profitability, but so are most companies on the Internet."