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Tech stocks lose day's gains

Investor selling depletes tech stocks' earlier gains, sending the Nasdaq into negative territory by market close.

Investor selling depleted tech stocks' earlier gains, sending the Nasdaq into negative territory by market close Thursday.

The Nasdaq composite index dipped 9.76 points to close at 1,827.77. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.15 points to close at 9,587.52.

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank cut rates by half a percentage point in an aggressive attempt to steer away from a recession. The moves followed a half-point cut by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

"The central banks in Europe are finally catching up with the U.S. and realizing that fighting recession is more important than fighting inflation," said Edgar Peters, chief investment officer of PanAgora Asset Management. "That's going to directly help the bottom line of large international companies and indirectly help improve sentiment."

On the technology front, DoubleClick's shares fell 6 cents to $8.34. CNET News.com has learned that the head of the company's media unit, Barry Salzman, is leaving the company, which raises new doubts about the future of the online marketing company and its sector.

AMD shares fell $1.12, or 8 percent, to $12.40 after news that the company is expecting a profitable 2002 as the maker of computer microprocessors cuts costs to fight slumping demand.

Cable company Charter Communications said it would use Microsoft's interactive-television software. The terms of the seven-year deal were not disclosed, but the companies did say that Microsoft's software would be available to 1 million Charter customers, who will be able to access e-mail, the Internet and local and national news services.

The news sent Microsoft's stock up 17 cents to $64.42; Charter was up 16 cents to $14.00. Liberate Technologies, which competes with Microsoft in that market, was off 60 cents to $7.35.

XO Communications closed down 5 cents to $1.12 after it reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss. The communications services company recorded a net loss of $50.8 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $436.5 million, or $1.20 a share, in the year-ago quarter.

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to gradually phase out limits on how much of the airwaves mobile-telephone companies can hold in a single market. The move is expected to spark consolidation in the industry and could help companies like Verizon Communications, Vodafone Group and AT&T Wireless, which have been running into limits in major cities.

Verizon was up 9 cents to $49.94, Vodafone rose 28 cents to $25.90, and AT&T Wireless gained 35 cents to $16.38.

Among other heavily traded tech issues, Intel fell a penny to $28.28, Oracle fell 13 cents to $15.45, Cisco Systems was up 16 cents to $19.09 and Sun Microsystems gained 68 cents to $13.27.

Amazon.com was off 46 cents to $6.97 and AOL Time Warner rose $1.95 to $36.45.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.