The Dow Jones industrial average continued its slide Friday, closing off 100 points to 11,251.71 while the Nasdaq composite marched up another 45 points to close at a record high of 4,234.90.
Much of the blue-chip angst stems from the Federal Reserve Board's meeting in early February where economists expect a one-quarter percent bump in short-term interest rates. Rising oil prices didn?t help matters.
"Every day that goes by when Nasdaq goes up and the rest of the stocks erode, it's more of an excuse for people to sell (holdings) and buy Nasdaq (shares)," said Larry Rice, chief investment officer at Josephthal Lyon & Ross. "It's the same familiar story, it just continues."
Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) shares closed off 2 1/8 to 84 7/16 after it topped analysts' estimates in its latest quarter. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) fell 2 1/4 to 103 3/4 and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) closed up 7/16 to 59 11/16.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell Computer Corp. (DELL) closed unchanged at 43 3/4; Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) lopped off 2 3/16 to 111 5/16; Gateway Inc. (GTW) surged up 4 3/8 to 62 and Compaq Computer Corp. (CPQ) closed up 1 3/4 to 31 7/16.
Other software companies moving on recent earnings news included database software vendor Sybase (Nasdaq: SYBS) which jumped 4 1/4 to 23 1/8 after the company reported strong fourth quarter earnings.
After scaring off most investors with a radical business realignment in its previous quarter, Pervasive Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PVSW) fell 3 1/2 to 12 after an earnings miss in its second quarter. The company also warned growth would be slow in the third quarter because of lower-than-expected database revenues and software orders.
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) closed unchanged at 351 15/16. America Online Inc. (AOL) added 7/8 to 64 15/16 while Excite@Home Corp. (ATHM) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) fell 2 3/8 and 2 11/16 a share, respectively. Lycos Inc. (LCOS) hustled up 4 5/8 to 80 3/8.
Communications chip maker PMC-Sierra (Nasdaq: PMCS) href="http://www.zdii.com/industry_list.asp?mode=news&doc_id=ZE502786&pic=Y">jumped 16 3/4 to 191 1/4 after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, and announced a stock split.
Intel Corp. (INTC) gained 2 5/16 to 97 15/16 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) closed off 2 3/8 to 36 5/8.
Among leading network-equipment stocks, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) charged up 2 7/8 to 115 1/4; 3Com Corp. (COMS) inched up 5/16 to 49 9/16 and Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU) rose 1/4 to 52 3/4.