RealTime IT News

No Holiday Relief

Investors continued to experience a bad case of indigestion over rate hike jitters while Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson threw Microsoft a curveball that sent tech stocks heading lower. Blue chips showed the worst selling, as the NYSE plunged 211.43 to 10,323.92, the Nasdaq shed 65.25 to 3,205.36, and the ISDEX fell in sympathy, down 3.58%.

What's bad for Bill is good for Linux, so most open source related issues climbed on news of a Microsoft breakup, as shares of VA Linux added 1-7/8 to 43-3/8. Red Hat tacked on 1 to 16-3/4, while Andover.Net inched ahead 5/8 to 14-15/16. Meanwhile, Microsoft was hitting a 52-week low, tumbling 4-1/16 to 61-1/2, as the software giant dragged tech stocks underwater.

Following yesterday's House approval of a China trade bill that would return normal trade relations to Big Red, shares of Asia-related Net concerns screamed lower. Shares of SINA.com plunged 7-7/8 to 37-11/16, nearly 20 percent, while chinadotcom eased 2-1/2 to 24-1/2.

Pointing toward the China trade bill, brokerage house Merrill Lynch had some bearish comments for CDMA pioneer Qualcomm , questioning the likelihood of the technology being adopted in China following passage of the bill. Shares of the chipset maker fell 7-3/4 to 69.

Priceline.com pulled back 1/4 to 36-1/4, after the name-your-own-price Web site announced that it had inked a 3 year marketing pact with American Express in which both companies will jointly offer business-to-business services to the small business community on a new B2B portal from Priceline during this quarter.

Shares of Neoforma.com sank 1-7/16 to 9-1/2, after the healthcare supplies middleman officially announced it would drop merger plans with Eclipsys and its HEALTHvision affiliate. Off weeks of market volatility, Neoforma's dramatic stock slide left the deal far short of its original $1.7 billion price tag.

Rumors were swirling that investment broker Goldman Sachs might miss Wall Street quarterly forecasts, which weakened e-financials. Goldman Sachs crumbled 7 to 73, while discount giant Charles Schwab back-peddled 1/2 to 38. Although, shares of E*Trade leapt 1-3/16 to 15-1/8 on news of a shakeup at the top. Jerry Gramaglia received the nod as new CEO of the online broker.