Tech Industry

MIDDAY MARKETS: Techs remain sluggish

Technology stocks were sluggish at midday Friday amid light volume as economic news hindered the broader markets. The Nasdaq was off 112.94 to 3,425.77 and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 114.11 to 10,663.17.

On the economic front, the U.S. trade deficit hit a record $30.2 billion in March as prices of imported oil rose to levels not seen since the Gulf crisis of 1990, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Among technology issues, positive earnings weren't enough to break a slump.

Fiber optic networking companies Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq: SCMR) both unveiled strong quarters, but investors weren't impressed. Ciena fell 11 5/8 to 125 11/16 and Sycamore lost 7 3/8 to 84 7/8.

Other networking stocks also took a hit. Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) was off 1 3/8 to 55 1/8, Lucent (NYSE: LU) slipped 1 3/8 to 54 3/4 and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) lost 2 11/16 to 52 11/16.

Portal Software (Nasdaq: PRSF), however, gained following its surprise first quarter profit. Autodesk, (Nasdaq: ADSK) slipped 1/2 to 38 1/8 after a solid earnings report. Other companies reporting earnings include: ADC Telecom (Nasdaq: ADCT), up 2 5/16 to 62 5/8; Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP), off 1 1/2 to 67 1/2; and Niku (Nasdaq: NIKU), down 3 7/8 to 22 3/8, or 14 percent.

Egreetings (Nasdaq: EGRT) was the big winner of the day, up 63 percent, or 1 1/2 to 3 7/8. Shares surged as high at 80 percent at one point in the session. Other Internet stocks were weak. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) was off 2 3/4 to 129 1/4 despite an upbeat analyst meeting. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) fell 1 7/8 to 53 1/2 and Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS) lost 1 13/16 to 60 1/2. America Online (NYSE: AOL) dipped 1 1/8 to 54 1/4.

Wireless issues dipped across the board. Nokia (Nasdaq: NOK) fell 3 5/8 to 49 3/8, Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) was off 1 3/16 to 19 1/4 and Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) lost 3 11/16 to 93 1/4.

Among bellwethers, MCI WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM) was down 1 7/16 to 38 1/8, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) slipped 2 3/4 to 70 5/16, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) lost 3 5/16 to 120 5/8, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) slumped 1 1/8 to 46 3/4 and Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) fell 4 13/16 to 80 3/16. Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) slid 7/16 to 27 9/16 and AT&T (NYSE: T) lost 1 1/8 to 87 13/16.


• Market Summary
• Industry Indices >