MARKET CLOSE: Techs stumble into the weekend

3 min read

Technology stocks fell after Alan Greenspan spoke Friday, but the techs didn't slide as far as the rest of the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 108.28 to 11,090.17, the S&P 500 dropped 13.74 to 1,348.27, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreated 15.73 to 2,758.89 to close out the week. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index declined 37.05 to 5,025.32.

Volume was light Friday. Analysts said many investors were cutting back their positions ahead of the weekend, especially with more light summer trading forecast for next week.

Fed chief Alan Greenspan startled the markets, knocking stock indices into negative territory, with his comments that central banks must consider the prices of stocks when setting monetary policy, signaling a growing focus on the equities market.

"He clearly has expressed concerns about the speculation in the stock market," Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp. in Albany, N.Y., said of Greenspan's remarks to a gathering of the world's top central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Several technology bellwethers slid, including Dell Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), down 7/8 to 47 1/16, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) sliding 1 3/8 to 93 1/4, and America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), falling 1 5/16 to 99 1/8.

Dow component Hewlett-Packard Inc. (NYSE: HWP) moved up 2 1/8 to 104 3/4 after Merrill Lynch made positive comments about new CEO Carly Fiorina.

Strong quarterly results lifted a pair of technology stocks. Finance software vendor Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) went up 8 3/16 to 91 1/16 following the company's report of a narrower-than-expected fourth quarter loss. Intuit also predicted 15 percent growth in fiscal 2000.

Hauppage Digital Inc. (Nasdaq: HAUP) gained 4 3/4 to 26 7/8. The manufacturer of PC television cards reported third quarter revenue growth of 48 percent year-over-year. Earnings rose 114 percent over the same period.

Network security specialist Security Dynamics Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI) gained 3 3/4 to 23 1/8 on general optimism about its business prospects. The company on Thursday announced its largest overseas deal so far, a multiyear contract worth $3.5 million with Taiwanese brokerage firm Polaris Securities.

Shares of telecom provider Destia Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DEST) picked up 2 11/16 to 16 5/8 after Viatel Inc. (Nasdaq: VYTL) unveiled plans to buy Destia in a $600 million stock swap. Viatel, which operates mainly in Europe, saw its stock price fall 2 13/16 to 39 1/16. Destia gets almost half its revenue from Europe.

This week's Internet IPOs continued gaining for a second day. Bamboo.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BAMB) rose 5 13/16 to 23 3/8 and ImageX Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGX) increased 9/16 to 14 1/2.

General Instrument Corp. (NYSE: GIC) dropped 5/16 to 50 3/8 after the company's Next Level Communications unit, which makes convergence systems for telecom companies, filed for a $125 million initial public offering.

American depositary receipts of LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) slipped 15/16 to 32 3/8 after AT&T, which currently buys most of its wireless equipment from Ericsson, announced plans to install Lucent and Nortel equipment in several North American wireless markets. Shares of Lucent Corp. (NYSE: LU) rose 1/2 to 65 7/8 and Nortel Networks Inc. (NYSE: NT) moved down 1/4 to 43 11/16.

Some stocks moved in the wake of the Cisco's optical networking acquisitions announced Thursday. Ditech Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: DITC) -- whose line of telecom and cable network equipment includes include optical amplifiers, DWDM multiplexers, transponders, and optical telemetry and monitoring systems -- shot up 16 to 63 1/2.

Other movers included Applix Inc. (Nasdaq: APLX), a front office software vendor recently gaining attention for its support of Linux. Applix shares moved up 6 1/2 to 16 1/2.>