Market Movers: Tech Stocks Wilt in the Heat

SAN FRANCISCO (05/08/2000) - Heat and humidity weren't the only things that caused investors on Wall Street to break a sweat today.

Anticipating an interest-rate hike later this week, investors seemed jittery today, taking the Nasdaq down nearly 4 percent, or 147.44 points, to 3,669.38.

The Dow managed to sustain itself by the end of the day, rising a slight 0.24 percent, or 25.77 points, to 10,603.63.

Volume was atypically low, however, causing some to think that today's market activity might not be a reliable gauge for the days ahead.

The Nasdaq was led south by Cisco Systems Inc., which suffered amid skeptical discussion about its high valuation and seemingly endless acquisitions. The stock, which was today's most actively traded Nasdaq share, plunged 7 percent, or US$5, to close at $62.75.

If the rest of the tech stocks were looking for an excuse to drop, they seemed to find one in the Cisco decline. Dell Computer Corp. dropped nearly 4 percent to $48, and Oracle Corp. lost more than 5 percent to $72.56. Intel Corp. was another big loser today, dropping 4 percent to $118.06. Microsoft Corp. shed nearly 2 percent to $69.87. Only IBM Corp. bucked the trend, rising 1.5 percent to close at $109.31.

The Internet sector seemed even more shaken, as companies once again fell to familiarly low levels. Yahoo Inc. was down 4 percent to $120.75, and eBay Inc. lost 4 percent to $128.46. CMGI dropped 6 percent to $61.12.

Business-to-business peers Ariba and Commerce One each lost nearly 9 percent, Ariba to $69.12 and Commerce One to $51.10.

The Dow suffered slightly from today's tech losses. AT&T experienced yet another big drop, 4 percent, to close at $37. The index otherwise enjoyed a steady day, with Coca-Cola gaining 3 percent to $48.50, Wal-Mart up 1.5 percent to $52.12 and Disney rising more than 2 percent to $40.56.

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