Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Profit-warning parade plays on

Profit warnings continued to dent technology stocks at midday, even as some economic data indicated a recovery in the manufacturing sector. The Nasdaq lost 14.58 to 1,825.68.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.53 to 9,948.31, and the Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 3 to 164.49.

In economic news, a key barometer for the manufacturing sector increased for a second straight month, raising hopes that U.S. industry may be on the road to recovery.

The National Association of Purchasing Management reported its manufacturing index advanced to 43.1 from 41.9 in February, surprising financial markets, which had been girding for a weak 41.4 reading, according to a Reuters poll.

"There is growing confidence that the economy does not have recession risks," Jack Shaughnessy, chief investment strategist at Advest, an investment advisory firm, told Reuters. "That will certainly be mitigating concerns about the profit outlook...and that bodes well for the market."

In the meantime, profit warnings continued to dent technology shares.

Shares of Art Technology (Nasdaq: ARTG) dropped $5.53 to $6.47 after the company announced it will see a loss instead of the profit Wall Street was expecting in its first quarter. Analysts downgraded the software maker and said things aren't likely to improve anytime soon.

Citing delayed customer purchases, business-to-business software firm i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO), said Monday that it may lay off up to 10 percent of its work force and will miss expectations for first-quarter earnings.

Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM) shares lost $7.38 to $13.50 following a profit warning and news of an accounting change.

Broadband company Rhythms NetConnections (Nasdaq: RTHM), down 3 cents to 41 cents, is considering putting itself up for sale amid a delisting notice from the Nasdaq and a question from its auditors on whether it has enough cash to continue operating.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 33 cents a share to $9.90, AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) lost $1.64 to $38.51 and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) lost 94 cents to $14.81.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 13 cents to $15.69, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 31 cents to $26.62, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) grew 86 cents to $15.84 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up $1.94 to $56.62.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.