Technology stocks started strong but lost some of their steam in late trading Thursday as the Nasdaq composite moved up 20 points to 3,913.61. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 95 points to close at 11,087.47.
"The underlying concern in the markets these days is the potential for corporate profit slowdown and missed earnings estimates," said Alan Ackerman senior vice president and market strategist at Fahnestock & Co.
Conexant Systems (CNXT) shot up $15.56 to $52.63 after it announced it will spin off its Internet infrastructure business.
Oracle (ORCL) shares gained $3.13 to $84.94 ahead of its earnings report. Sun Microsystems (SUNW) trimmed 69 cents to $117.50 and Microsoft (MSFT) lopped off $2.44 to $65.81.
Internet stocks enjoyed decent gains, led by eBay (EBAY) which gained $5.94 to $68.44. Yahoo! (YHOO) rose 56 cents to $106.94 while Amazon.com (AMZN) and Lycos (LCOS) added $2.44 and $1.13 a share, respectively. America Online (AOL) clipped 25 cents to finish at $55.75.
WebMethods Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM) closed up $7.06 to $105.13 after it inked a deal Thursday with EDS (NYSE: EDS), down 50 cents to $47.13 and Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA), up $10.56 to $157.56, to provide software and services.
VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT) gained 63 cents to $44.50 after announcing it has reorganized its business into three separate units, including one focused on business-to-business software.
Intel (INTC) lost $1.56 to $59.69. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shed 63 cents to $28.38 and IBM (IBM) lost 81 cents to end at $126.88.
Virata Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTA) rose $7.81 to $58 after saying it expects second quarter revenues for the period ending Oct. 1 to be about $41.5 million, up 50 percent over the prior quarter's $27.7 million.
Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) inched up 31 cents to $36.56; Compaq (CPQ) gained $1.44 to $31.19; Apple Computer (AAPL) lost $1.14 to $56.86 and Gateway (GTW) closed up $2.02 to $60.72.