Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Strong earnings fail to help techs

Techs slumped at midday Thursday after strong reports from Applied Materials and Cisco failed to inspire buying. The Nasdaq shed 57.52 to 3,587.44 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 22.28 to 10,792.02.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 7 to 481.36.

In other news, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted in favor of a ruling that will force companies to spill the beans to individual investors at the same time as analysts.

Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT)was down 3/8 to 71 3/4, after the firm beat estimates in its third-quarter report Wednesday night, but had its price target cut Thursday.

Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN) jumped 2 3/4 to 38 5/8 after the company reached a wide-ranging agreement with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), rose 1 5/16 to 113 1/16 to develop, market and sell e-commerce products worldwide.

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), even at 30 7/8 and Toysrus.com, working with its parent company Toys "R" Us Inc. (NYSE: TOY), up 3/4 to 18 1/8,will launch a co-branded toy and video game store this fall and a baby store next year. That could be bad news for Etoys (Nasdaq: ETYS), down 1/32 to 4.

On the IPO front, Vina Technologies (Nasdaq: VINA), priced 3 million shares at $12 a piece for trading Thursday. The maker of broadband access communications equipment and voice/data services priced at the bottom of its $12 to $14 range after cutting the number of shares from 5 million.

Bluefly Inc. (Nasdaq: BFLY), down 3/16 to 2 3/,8 made progress in its second quarter, but warned that it has to pursue "strategic alternatives" because it's running low on cash.

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 5/16 to 133 and AOL (NYSE: AOL) fell 5/8 to 52.

Among other leading tech issues: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rose 5/8 to 64 3/16, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) was down 9/16 to 73 11/16, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) dropped 2 1/4 to 65 9/16, WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM) fell 1 1/8 to 33 13/16, and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose 5/8 to 82.