RealTime IT News

Tech Stocks Avoid the Blues

Tech stocks rose Friday, bucking a sell-off in blue chip issues. Net stocks fell slightly, but mergers, financing deals and settlements propelled several issues higher.

The Dow fell 54, pulling back below 10,700 after a strong start, and the S&P 500 lost 4. Tech stocks bucked the trend, with the Nasdaq gaining 49. The ISDEX fell 3 to 768. Breadth was positive, with advancers leading decliners 16 to 11 on the NYSE and 24 to 15 on the Nasdaq. Volume eased to 785 million shares on the NYSE and 1.26 billion on the Nasdaq. Traders initially cheered May's unchanged Producer Price Index, better than the expected increase of 0.2%, but the core reading came in stronger than expected.

Quokka Sports soared 2 3/8 to 7 3/4, finishing just under the highs of the day, after announcing the acquisition of Golf.com for $30 million. Robertson Stephens said the acquisition may be the first in a move toward the mainstream for the company.

GoAmerica gained 3 1/4 to 11 1/2 on rumors that America Online might try to buy the wireless Internet service provider.

Share of Lycos were also on the move, up 1 15/16 to 65 15/16, after Terra Networks shareholders approved the acquisition of the company.

MP3 rose 1 29/32 to 19 5/32 on news that the online music company reached a settlement in its copyright-infringement suit with Time Warner . The stock had risen strongly since the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that a settlement was in the works. The stock was off from an intraday high of 23.

FVC.com soared 4 19/32 to 11 5/8 after Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures invested $27.4 million in the provider of two-way video over the Internet. Vulcan purchased preferred stock convertible into approximately 3.4 million shares at a price of $8 per share, and now owns 16.5% of the company.

Inktomi gained 1 1/8 to 127, a day after announcing plans to buy Ultraseek from Disney's Go.com for $350 million in cash and stock, improving the company's position in the corporate intranet market.

MicroStrategy continued to defy gravity, rising 18 7/8 to 63. The company is rumored to be close to securing a vital round of financing. Extended Systems continued its run, up 5 1/4 to 77 1/2.

Shares of Open Market , up 2 15/16 to 18 15/16, Chordiant , up 2 17/32 to 14 1/2, Saba Software , up 5 9/16 to 24, Lante Corp. , up 5 13/16 to 32 9/16, and AskJeeves , up 2 5/8 to 25 3/8, were particularly strong.

Phone.com fell 2 1/2 to 92 1/2 after trading as high as 98 1/4. Wit SoundView started coverage with a Buy rating and 12-month target of 120, calling the company the world's leading developer of WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) software and applications for the wireless communications sector.

Juniper Networks fell 13 1/8 to 224 7/8, ending a strong run after news of a potential co-marketing arrangement with Nortel Networks surfaced. The stock ran into difficulty at 250 1/8, the 62% retracement level.

NaviSite fell 2 3/8 to 51 3/4 despite beating earnings estimates by 10 cents with a Q3 loss of 29 cents a share. The stock had run up beforehand on word the earnings would be positive.

Network Appliance continued to display technical strength, up 2 29/32 to 88 7/32. Other issues showing strength were webMethods , up 4 9/16 to 163 13/16, and Digital Island up 2 15/16 to 37 3/4.

Breakaway Solutions took a breather, down 2 13/16 to 38 15/16, fo