Tech Industry

Wall Street firm turns away from dot-coms

C.E. Unterberg Towbin decides to discontinue coverage of e-commerce stocks, a move that piles one more insult upon the heap of indignities that the sector has faced this year.

C.E. Unterberg Towbin has decided to discontinue coverage of e-commerce stocks, a move that piles one more insult upon the heap of indignities that the sector has faced this year.

The decision to halt coverage of Internet stocks for the time being was announced through an email circulated within the firm this week.

"The space is down, (and) we're not making any money," Daniel Ries, the firm's Internet analyst, said in an interview.

Ries, who covered such Internet bellwethers as Amazon.com, Beyond.com and eBay, was the only e-commerce analyst at the firm.

Ries said he is leaving Unterberg and is "looking for a buy side opportunity, preferably a hedge fund that concentrates on Internet stocks."

The sector that started the year with so many hopes crashed and burned as investors became more concerned with profitability than with future promises of stellar returns. Amazon has fallen 77 percent this year, Beyond.com has lost 98 percent, and eBay has dropped about 38 percent.