Tech stocks pulled back ahead of Tuesday's earnings barrage as the Nasdaq composite closed off 98 points to 4,176.98. The Dow Jones industrial average finished off 64 points to 10.739.92.
The U.S. Labor Department said its June Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 0.6 percent, making skittish Fed watchers nervous about more interest rate hikes ahead. Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the CPI would increase 0.4 percent overall.
"If anything, you have a little bit of profit-taking in the tech area, and then that's spilling over to the broader market," said Charles Lemonides at M&R Capital Management. "Today's market activity is a little bit of a squiggle after a very healthy run in the Nasdaq."
Intel (INTC) shares closed off 3 5/16 to 143 ahead of its earnings report. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which reports Wednesday, finished down 3 1/4 to 88. IBM (IBM) shed 2 9/16 to 102 15/16.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) lost 3/8 to 53 3/16; Compaq (CPQ) gained 19/32 to 28 3/8; Gateway (GTW) fell 1 7/8 to 63 3/16 and Apple (AAPL) closed off 1 1/16 to 57 1/4 ahead of its third-quarter results.
Several companies headed south despite better-than-expected results; IONA Technologies (Nasdaq: IONA), off 1 15/16 to 77, said second quarter earnings were 20 cents a share, a nickel above First Call's expectation. Parametric (Nasdaq: PMTC), down 1 15/16 to 10 15/16, and ISSX (Nasdaq: ISSX), down 18 3/4, or 18 percent, to 88 1/4, also topped estimates
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY) slid 3 1/2 to 52 after it reported that earnings for its second quarter were 54 cents a share, above First Call Corp.'s consensus estimate of 47 cents a share.
Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT) shed 13 to 89 even though it crushed estimates, as a big order from SBC and growing DSL installations enabled it to deliver strong earnings. The company also upped its profit target.
Yahoo! (YHOO) fell 1 11/16 to 129 15/16 while America Online (AOL) and eBay (EBAY) closed off 2 3/4 and 2 11/16 a share, respectively. Amazon.com (AMZN) gained 5/8 to 41 3/4 and Lycos (LCOS) dropped 4 3/8 to 53.
Microsoft (MSFT) ended up 5/16 to 78 1/2 ahead of its earnings report. Oracle (ORCL) dipped 1 15/16 to 74 3/16 and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) ended down 1 1/16 to 95 5/16.