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MARKET CLOSE: Techs take three steps back

Technology stocks ended the week the way they started as the Nasdaq composite plunged 159 points to close at 2,408.06 Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 250 points to finish at 10,662.01.

All the enthusiasm and gains that Wednesday’s interest-rate cut garnered disappeared in the past two trading days.

“I'd expect we're going to see sell offs like this on and off through January and probably through February and March,” said Charles Pradilla, chief investment strategist at SG Cowen Securities. “The Fed rate cut earlier this week was very good, but there are still other issues to work out. Some of these stocks are still overvalued, and then there's earnings and the slowing economy.”

Sun Microsystems (SUNW) fell $3.05 to $27.95. Microsoft (MSFT) added 56 cents to $49 and Oracle (ORCL) lost $2.44 to $30.13.

Sapient (Nasdaq: SAPE) shed 6 cents to $15 after its fourth-quarter warning as analysts remained upbeat on the stock.

Next Level Communications (Nasdaq: NXTV) shares dropped 6 cents to $10.75 after the company warned for its fourth-quarter and received negative reactions from analysts.

Among widely held PC stocks, Dell (DELL) clipped 19 cents to $19; Gateway (GTW) fell #2.29 to $19.46; Compaq (CPQ) lost 38 cents to $16.67 and Apple Computer (AAPL) closed off 69 cents to $16.38.

Brooktrout (BRKT) plunged $4.41 to $6.47, a day after the company warned for its fourth quarter.

Delano Technology (Nasdaq: DTEC) was cut in half, falling $2.38 to $2.38 after a third-quarter warning and a couple of downgrades.

Yahoo! (YHOO), which releases earnings next week, lost $1.06 to $28.50. (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) chopped off 94 cents and $4.88 a share, respectively. America Online (AOL) dropped 89 cents to $41.29 and CMGI (CMGI) shed 50 cents to $4.50.

Intel (INTC) lost $1.73 to $32.06. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) dipped 69 cents to $16 and IBM (IBM) moved up 81 cents to close at $94.