Market Movers: The Terrible Twos

SAN FRANCISCO (05/25/2000) - If good things come in threes, maybe bad things come in twos.

Reversing Wednesday's gains, the major indexes each fell by about 2 percent.

The Dow fell 211.42, or 2.01 percent today, to 10323.92, with the Nasdaq close on its heels - losing 65.26, or 1.99 percent to close at 3205.35. The Nasdaq has now lost ground on six of the past seven trading days.

The government's revised gross domestic product figure was the same as the nonrevised figure - 5.4 percent - and the news had little effect on the markets. Moreover, the vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to grant permanent normal trade ties to China turned out to benefit the stocks of big exporters less than observers had expected.

Weighing things down, in part, was Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's apparent tilt toward breaking up Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) . The company's stock dropped $4.06, or 6.2 percent, closing at $61.50. Cisco Systems Inc. ended up falling 63 cents to close at $54.50. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) , meanwhile, rose $2.19, or 3.4 percent, to $66.44.

Microsoft's legal woes didn't help the Nasdaq, but it was financial stocks that brought down the Dow today. A midafternoon report from Merrill Lynch & Co.

Inc. (LGL) on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sent Goldman's stock down $7, or 8.8 percent, to $73, and other financial issues such as J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. and Citigroup Inc. (C) followed suit. The report cited Goldman's low trading volume during May and during several previous months, and although Merrill kept its "buy" rating steady, investors took note of the lowered expectations.

The Internet sector could take no solace from the battering taken by the banks.

Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) dropped $7.75, or 6.31 percent, to close at $115. EBay Inc. fell $4.47, to $60.50. Not to be outdone, Inc. (AMZN) slipped $3.06, to $45.50, and CMGI Inc. (CMGI) lost $6.06, nearly 12 percent of its value, to close at $45.44. Inktomi Corp. (INKT) , which had gained 10 percent yesterday, gave almost all of it back, plummeting 9.48 percent, or $10.53, to close at $100.75.

The biggest Net loser, however, was Ltd. (HOTJ) . The company shed $2.47, to close at $8, representing a decline of nearly 24 percent.

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