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Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Microsoft rattles techs

It was a bad day for tech bellwethers at midday Monday as Microsoft led the Nasdaq lower amid concerns about slowing growth. The Nasdaq was off 200.64 to 3,442.26 and the Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.55 to 10,845.60.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was the topic of the day as bad news piled up around the software giant. Shares were down 12 7/16 to 66 1/2, or nearly 16 percent. Although antitrust concerns were a factor, Microsoft's gloomy outlook was the major reason investors were skittish. The company reported lower than expected third quarter sales and a host of analysts downgraded the stock.

Microsoft's malaise weighed on other technology bellwethers. The Nasdaq most active list was littered with losers.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) was down 3 3/4 to 61 3/8, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was off 1 7/8 to 68 15/16, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) slipped 4 1/16 to 111 5/16 and Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) lost 2 7/8 to 47 1/16.

Even companies that usually gain at Microsoft's expense had a tough time. Be Inc. (Nasdaq: BEOS), which makes an alternative operating system, lost 3/4 to 7 1/8, and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) fell 3 5/16 to 84 7/16. Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) lost 1 1/16 to 6 7/8, or 13 percent, after it revealed it's facing a cash crunch. Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT), which sells Linux software and services, eked out a small gain, up 5/8 to 26 7/8.

Among other companies in the news:

  • Pervasive Software (Nasdaq: PVSW) plunged 3 15/16 to 7 after the company missed estimates in its fiscal third quarter.

  • Autoweb.com (Nasdaq: AWEB) gained 1/4 to 4 7/16 after Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS) agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in the company. Lycos was off 15/16 to 35 1/8 and Autoweb rival Autobytel.com (Nasdaq: ABTL) slipped 7/32 to 5 13/16.

  • NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO) soared 44 percent, or 3 23/32, to 12 after Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) invested $144 million in free access provider for a 10 percent stake. Qualcomm was off 9 5/8 to 99 7/8, or 9 percent.

  • Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) fell 7 percent to 63 1/8 after the company topped Wall Street estimates Monday with a first quarter loss of $7.3 million, or 4 cents per share, on sales of $313.8 million.

  • Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) was off 1 11/16 to 61 3/8 after it appointed Deborah Hopkins CFO. Hopkins was the CFO of aerospace giant Boeing Co.

  • Exodus Communications (Nasdaq: EXDS) plunged 20 percent, or 22 3/16 to 85 1/8, after the company topped estimates but didn't impress with revenue growth. Revenue was roughly in line with expectations.

  • Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) was down 10 58 to 112 1/2, or more than 8 percent, on concerns about dot-com advertising spending. >