RealTime IT News

Nets, Nasdaq Take Big Afternoon Tumble

Internet and technology shares took a dive in afternoon trading Tuesday, prompted by steep losses within the biotech sector.

Biotechs tumbled after President Clinton and Britain floated a proposal that would give researchers around the world free access to human genome mapping. Success in the field has led a number of biotech stocks to soar in recent months amid speculation that the process will spur a new round of health care successess.

As for Internets, analysts attributed the fall to simple profit-taking, saying many stocks, particularly in the business-to-business sector had simply gotten ahead of the levels investors were willing to pay.

At the close, internet.com's Internet Stock Index had plunged 44.85, or 4.19 percent, to 1,025.80, the Nasdaq Composite had lost 200.61 to 4,706.63 and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 135.89 to 9,811.24. The Nasdaq's drop was its largest in more than two months.

Leading the decline were Ariba Inc. (ARBA), off 16-15/16 to 281-1/16, Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) was off 29-1/16 to 200-15/16, Checkpoint Software (CHKP) lost 21-5/16 to 246-7/8, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) had fallen 8-3/8 to 123-7/8, Exodus Communications (EXDS) had fallen 9-1/4 to 151-5/16 and VerticalNet Inc. (VERT) was off 24 to 230.

Inktomi (INKT) jumped 17-1/8 to 206-1/8. The company signed deals with Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) and Spyglass Inc. (SPYG) to adapt its delivery optimization technology to wireless devices.

McAfee.com Corp. (MCAF) leaped 6-1/2 to 52-1/4. The antivirus software site and parent Network Associates Inc. (NETA) will provide online virus scanning technology to users of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Hotmail e-mail service.

internet.com Corp. (INTM) jumped 5-1/2 to 60. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray reiterated its "strong buy" on the publisher of this Web site, setting a $150 target.

MP3.com Inc. (MPPP) jumped 6 to 29-1/16 despite the fact the company released no news.

Ask Jeeves Inc. (ASKJ) gained 2-7/8 to 80-3/8. The search firm priced a secondary offering of 2.1 million shares at $76 each. Goldman Sachs is leading the offering.

Adaptive Broadband Corp. (ADAP) closed off 11-3/4 to 166-3/8 after hitting 193 earlier in the session. The high-speed wireless equipment maker announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Three IPOs hit the Stre