RealTime IT News

Tech Stocks Fall Without a Net

The tug-o-war continued between bulls and bears Tuesday on light volume, and the bears took the day handily. Blue chips dragged the NYSE underwater 120.28 to 10,422.27, while investors dumped tech stocks from their portfolios sending the Nasdaq tumbling 199.92 to 3,164.29.Internet.com's ISDEX followed suit, falling 8.31% for the day.

Prudential scrambled to kick E*Trade while it's down, slashing its price target on the online broker from $62 to $45 while reiterating a "strong buy" recommendation. The company's share price lost another 3/4 to 15-3/4 on the news.

Rival Ameritrade had some news of its own for shareholders to digest after the company's founder and co-CEO Joe Ricketts stepped down from his position as head of the brokerage firm keeping the other co-CEO Tom Lewis as commander-in-chief. Shares sank 13/16 to 11-3/4.

Shares of Veritas Software tanked 9-5/8 to 93-1/4 on news of a strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems and Oracle to provide a set of integrated services aimed at helping customers rapidly build and deploy e-business infrastructures.

Zany Brainy stumbled 13/32 to 2-17/32 after the toy e-tailer reported first quarter earnings in line with consensus estimates for a loss of $0.23. Other toy sellers were down on the day, as shares of eToys edged lower 3/16 to 5-3/16, while Amazon.com fell 5-3/16 to 46-11/16.

Investors were hit with a bad case of vertigo following Vignette's announced acquisition of OnDisplay for $1.7 billion in stock. Shares of Vignette plunged 5-5/16 to 29-9/16, while shares of OnDisplay fell in sympathy, down 8-1/16 to 46-1/16.

Yesterday's other Web merger deal fared much better, after WebMethods announced plans to acquire Active Software in a $1.3 billion deal. Shares of WebMethods eased modestly 3/8 to 71-5/8, while shares of Active Software followed suit, off 1-3/4 to 30-5/16.

The usual Internet bellwethers were sagging lower with the broader market. ISP giant America Online shed 1-3/4 to 50-1/4. Yahoo! and eBay gave back some or all of yesterday's healthy gains, down 7-15/16 to 118-15/16 and 20-3/16 to 116, respectively.