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Nasdaq ends week on sour note

The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite index take divergent paths to close a holiday-shortened week that has investors on the edges of their seats.

    The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite index took divergent paths to close a holiday-shortened week that had investors on the edges of their seats.

    A dramatic collapse in tech shares sent the Nasdaq plunging last week--on Friday alone it sank 10 percent.

    When the opening bell rang Monday, investors feared for the worst, but they were relieved when the Nasdaq climbed early and then picked up steam. By the end of the day, the index had jumped more than 200 points, a record-setting increase that was topped Tuesday when it soared another 254 points.

    For the past two days, however, the Nasdaq has lost ground. Today, it shed 62.53 to 3,643.88. The Dow, meanwhile, climbed 169.09 to 10,844.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 7.07 to 1,434.54, as the CNET tech index slipped 32.75 to 2,926.23.

    Microsoft rose 25 cents to $78.94. The company reported earnings after the close of regular trading that exceeded analysts' forecasts. In after-hours trading, shares fell $3.03 to $75.91 on concerns about revenues.

    Official Payments was the biggest percentage loser on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The designer of electronic payment systems reported disappointing earnings and the resignation of its chief financial officer. The shares fell $11.50, nearly 69 percent, to $5.25. Volume topped 7.7 million shares.

    Among members of the CNET tech index, losers edged out winners, with 61 of the 99 stocks in the index falling, 37 rising and one remaining unchanged.

    Of the 18 sectors tracked, wireless companies posted the sharpest declines, falling about 5 percent. Computer services companies were the day's largest gainers, climbing about 3 percent.

    VeriSign fell $12.41 to $118.50, while Citrix Systems fell $13, or 20 percent, to $52.25. VeriSign posted disappointing earnings. Analysts said the number of days it took Citrix customers to pay bills rose unexpectedly in the first quarter.

    Among the gainers on the index were ADC Telecommuncations, Broadcom and Conextant Systems.

    The Philadelphia semiconductor index gained 11.21 to 1,024.28, led by Micron Technology, which rose $8.13 to $125.13.

    The long-awaited initial public offering of AT&T Wireless Group is expected to debut next week, but the recent stock market turbulence places a cloud of uncertainty over the largest IPO ever by a U.S. company.

    Meanwhile, groups are raising privacy concerns over how advertisers hawk their products on wireless devices.

    "Disappointing" revenues from a delayed new chip led SGI to post a loss that was deeper than analysts expected.