RealTime IT News

Stocks Battered On War Fears

Stocks fell sharply Friday on growing fears of war between the U.S and Iraq.

Among the highlights: the BBC reported that Iraq may be preparing for chemical and biological warfare; Japan and the U.S. reportedly told their citizens to leave Iraq; and speculation that the U.S. may go to war without UN backing. A key UN report on the arms inspections is due out Monday, and President Bush delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday.

The Nasdaq fell 46 to 1342, the S&P 500 lost 25 to 861, and the Dow dropped 238 to 8131. Volume declined to 1.54 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 1.59 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 24-8 on the NYSE, and 23-8 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 83% on the NYSE, and 87% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 74-84 on the NYSE, and 55-57 on the Nasdaq.

Amazon was a bright spot, gaining 1.5% after beating estimates and raising revenue guidance.

Nortel , Western Digital , Ariba and AskJeeves posted strong gains on their earnings reports.

But the bulk of companies reporting fell on the day, led by Internet Security , FreeMarkets , UTStarcom and VeriSign . Emulex , KLA-Tencor , Genesis Microchip , Varian , Hyperion and Microchip all traded lower on their reports.

Broadcom fell 14.2% after its CEO resigned.

E*Trade was unchanged despite the abrupt departure of Chairman and CEO Christos Cotsakos.

Cisco , off 5%, acquired a security software firm.

Microsoft , off 4.7%, promised a greater emphasis on security.

Red Hat fell 4.7% as LinuxWorld concluded.

Intel , off 5%, announced a partnership with Fujitsu.

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