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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs tumble on Greenspan&#039s stern words

Techs tumbled at midday Thursday after Alan Greenspan's hawkish lecture, which suggested nothing substantive on what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates when it meets next August. The Nasdaq sunk 69.91 to 2691.86, and the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 80.10 to 10922.68.

Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index sunk 9.66 to 296.

Fed chairman Greenspan, speaking to Congress in his semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony pledged the Fed would act "promptly and forcefully" if it saw evidence of rising inflation. He also cautioned that the central bank was not committed to any imminent increases in U.S. interest rates and noted prices had so far been well-behaved. In typically cryptic style that keeps investors edgy, Greenspan warned that there was the risk of a "euphoric" run-up in stock prices that could propel the market to unsupportable levels.

On the Fed-rocky markets, kingpins Amazon and AOL both took a tumble, despite hitting on the earnings front last night. Shares in Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) took a downward turn, falling 11 percent, down 13 3/4 to 111 11/16 in Thursday morning trading, while shares in America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL) fell 3 percent, down 3 7/16 to 11 5/8. Though earnings were above official estimates. Analysts told all.

In its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, Barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN) up 11/16 to 19 11/16, narrowed its second quarter loss and topped estimates as sales came in at $39.1 million.

Network Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: NSOL) was also down 3 5/8 to 73 5/8 after reporting earnings that squeaked past First Call's estimate by a penny.

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) fell 1 3/16 to 150 11/16, Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS), sunk 3 7/16 to 97 1/2, Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK) slipped 5/8 to 40 3/8, Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) fell 1 1/8 to 45 7/8, and Mindspring (Nasdaq: MSPG) also moved down 1 1/4 to 43 3/4.

Shares of Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR), down 7 1/16 to 26 9/16 also crumbled Thursday after the company beat estimates for its first quarter, but was downgraded because of lower-than-expected sales.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON), down 2 13/16 to 50 3/8, said its second-quarter profits rose to $386 million, or 44 cents a share, on par with First Call's expectations.

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 3 3/8 to 125 5/8. Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) fell 1 7/16 to 64 5/16, Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped 3/4 to 40 1/2, and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) fell 9/16 to 25 7/16. Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) also moved down, 1 1/2 to 52 9/16.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) sunk 2 15/16 to 91 3/4, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dropped 3/4 to 64 13/16, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) sunk 3/16 to 16 13/16.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) shed 1 1/4 to 61 13/16. 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) dropped 9/16 to 26 3/16, and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), was down 2 3/8 to 67 3/4.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell 15/16 to 37 3/16, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) fell 5/16 to 55 7/16, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) dipped 2 15/16 to 67 3/4.