Nasdaq's Slip 'N Slide

SAN FRANCISCO (03/31/2000) - Did anything in the market go up today? Sure, but maybe not the companies you'd expect. On the fourth consecutive day of heavy losses on the Nasdaq - which was down as much as 289 points at one point before recouping a bit to close at 4457.89, down 186.78 points - the index's beloved tech companies suffered further reversals of previous gains.

For its part, the Dow bobbed up and down lightly throughout the day, and ended up losing 38.47 to close at 10,980.25. You name it: If it was a Nasdaq techie, it was probably down because those issues bore the brunt of investor skepticism over valuations. One-time market darling Qualcomm lost $12.27 to close at $145.23, and Yahoo dropped $7.56 to end at $169.50. Highflier JDS Uniphase lost $3.13 to close at $116.25, router king Cisco lost $2.44 to finish at $73.63, and Lucent shed $2 to hit $61.25. Online auction house eBay managed to avoid the sell-off. It gained $8.13 to close at $207.13. Healtheon/WebMD was another big Internet loser, falling $4.88, to $25.81, as investors reacted to news that giant offline health insurers such as Aetna and Cigna would begin to offer their established customer bases some online capabilities.

For the second-straight day, Dow blue chips and the establishment industries they represent found themselves winners. The sole blue chip to buck the trend was chipmaker Intel, which lost $4.88 to close at $127. Stocks in industries ranging from oil to tobacco were up, presumably happy to regain the type of investor attention they once took for granted. Stalwart Coca-Cola gained for the second day in a row, up $1.69, to $48.56, as did Wal-Mart, which rose 25 cents to close at $59.

Phillip Morris rose $2.13 to close at $21.25, and IBM was up $3.38, to $122.38. Primedia bucked the downward trend as well, on special news. The word is out that CMGI and Liberty Media Group are taking a stake in the publishing conglomerate, which counts New York and Seventeen magazines among its 270 titles. Primedia is looking to make a transition to new media by beefing up its broadband, Internet and e-commerce offerings. News that both CMGI and Liberty Media will take a 5 percent stake in the company sent the stock up $4.38 to close at $31.50.

The deal seemingly did nothing for CMGI, which dropped $2.19 to close at $109.63. Nabisco was another big gainer today, shooting up $2.44, to $11.75, its biggest gain in more than three months. That rise came about as word spread of corporate raider Carl Icahn's desire to take a 30 percent stake in the consumer-foods company, maker of Ritz crackers.

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