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MarchFirst shares grind to a halt

The Nasdaq exchange puts a stop to trading of the beleaguered Internet consultant until the company can satisfy the Nasdaq's request for information.

    The Nasdaq Stock Market put a freeze on the shares of MarchFirst on Wednesday and said trading will not be resumed until the beleaguered Internet consultant complies with a request for information.

    At 11:34 a.m. EST, the Nasdaq halted activity on MarchFirst shares, which were trading around 15 cents. The Nasdaq said in a statement that trading will remain halted until MarchFirst, which saw its shares plummet Tuesday to a new 52-week low, has "fully satisfied Nasdaq's request for additional information."

    The nature of the Nasdaq's request was not immediately known.

    A MarchFirst spokeswoman declined to comment on the Nasdaq's request.

    MarchFirst has had it rough in recent weeks, dealing with a nonexistent chain of command and struggling to remain afloat in the uncertain Internet consulting environment. On Tuesday, shares of the company dropped to 13 cents a share after a report in The New York Times said MarchFirst is expected to cut as many as 3,000 jobs, or nearly half its work force.

    The Chicago-based company has had to slash roughly 2,000 jobs over the last few months as it attempts to cut costs, achieve profitability and redirect its focus to landing larger, more lucrative consulting engagements.

    The company recently cut ties with its venture capital arm, Bluevector. MarchFirst, which once owned 50 percent of the start-up, wrote off the remainder of its investments in the fourth quarter. The cash-strapped company, which has been weighing several financing options, said its priority is to focus on its core business.