MIDDAY MARKETS: Yahoo hangs in the balance

2 min read

Technology stocks were treading water at midday Wednesday with a little help from investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen, as investors awaited news from Yahoo.

The Nasdaq rose 0.85 points to 2,205.28 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 60.15 points to 10,651.37.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index lost 2 points to 217.74.

Investors had their eyes glued to Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) all Wednesday morning. The Internet portal's stock was frozen at $20.97 Tuesday after Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget said the company has dropped out of his brokerage's Internet conference in New York. Speculation was that the company would announce a profit warning.

The only distraction came from Goldman Sachs' chief investment strategist, Abby Joseph Cohen. Cohen helped stocks hold their head above water Wednesday after she told clients to use their cash to buy beaten-down stocks, and raised the equity allocation in Goldman's model portfolio to 70 percent from 65 percent.

"Many of the imbalances identified during the past year have now been largely redressed," said Cohen, one of Wall Street's most influential strategists. Cohen had lowered her position in technology stocks last March.

Investors were taking her advice with regards to Intel (Nasdaq: INTC). The chipmaker's stock was the most actively traded on the Nasdaq, gaining almost 5 percent even after another couple of analysts cut the company's ratings and warnedinvestors not to expect a V-shaped recovery.

PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) rose $1.44, or 14 percent, to $11.69, after it said it was comfortable with projections for the first quarter and fiscal 2001 following its recent acquisition.

Shares of Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), down $5.19 to $42.69, tumbled in pre-market trading a day after the company warned investors it would fall short of earnings and revenue expectations for the first quarter.

AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) fell $1.05 to $45.49, and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 25 cents a share to $12.13.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell 13 cents a share to $23.88, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 56 cents a share to $18.19 and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was up 75 cents a share to $60.19.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.