Technology stocks closed mixed today, losing most of the gains received from an early boost by positive earnings news from Motorola and speculation that there could be a globally coordinated interest rate cut to deal with the growing worldwide economic crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose as much as 154.74 points early on, shed most of those gains later, closing the day up only 16.74 points at 7,742.98. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, which yesterday suffered the fifth-worst decline in its history, added to that decline by closing down 25.84 or 1.68 percent at 1,510.85. It had climbed as much as 41 points in early trading.
Even strong words from the President of the United States could not calm the jittery markets today.
Speaking at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meeting today, President Bill Clinton called for action to deal with the financial crisis.
"[We] must find a way to temper the volatile swings of the international market place, just as we have learned to do in our domestic economies," he said. "I am confident that if we act together we can end the present crisis. We must take urgent steps to help those that have been hurt by it and restore growth and confidence to the world economy."
Earlier, technology stocks were capitalizing on yesterday's after-market news that beleaguered technology and telecommunications giant Motorola beat Wall Street's expectations with third-quarter earnings of $40 million or 7 cents per share excluding charges.
Motorola stock closed 8.43 percent higher, climbing 3.25 points to 41.81.
Shares of Cisco, which tumbled 13.34 percent yesterday on news that the Federal Trade Commission was looking in to its business dealings (See related story), were up at 49.56 before shedding the gains and dropping 4.4 percent or 2.13 points, to 46.19.
Telco giant MCI-Worldcom turned around from falling as low as 43.5 to close at 44.94, while chip giant Intel was down dropped 1.16 percent to 79.63. Citrix Systems, a provider of software solutions for Windows-based client-server networks plunged 10.89 percent today, down 6.94 at 56.75.
Online book and music retailer Amazon.com closed 2.18 percent higher at 108.31, while travel services provider Preview Travel dropped 5.98 percent to 13.75. Internet Service Provider America Online dropped 5.34 percent or 5.5 points, to 97.5.
The Bank of Spain cut interest rates, raising hope that there may be some coordinated rate cuts to stem the growing global economic crisis.