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RealTime IT News

Strong Earnings Fail To Boost Broader Markets

The broader markets sank into negative territory despite a handful of strong earnings results posted after the bell yesterday and favorable consumer price index data. Blue chips sent the Dow moving cautiously lower, off 19.24 to 11,068.23. Investors took some money off the table in tech stocks and Internet issues, sending the Nasdaq tumbling 59.09 to 3854.77, while the ISDEX fell 1.48%.

Shares of Oracle fell victim to profit taking, sagging 3 7/8 to 81 1/16 following better than expected earnings out after the bell yesterday. The database software maker delivered $0.17 per share, roaring past analysts' estimates by four cents. In addition to strong revenue numbers, the company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split effective October 13.

Adobe Systems followed suit with a 2-for-1 stock split of its own, after reporting Q2 earnings of $0.57 per share, a nickel better than consensus estimates. Shares of the desktop software developer rallied on the news, soaring 8 5/8 to 134, after investors cheered the upside surprise.

After posting a narrower than expected loss yesterday after the bell, shares of Red Hat plunged 3 3/4 to 21 1/2. The open source firm reported a penny loss, topping analysts' forecasts by the same. Revenue for the quarter came in at $18.5 million, 75% better than the year ago same period.

Excite@Home sold off 3/4 to 16 3/4 after a short-lived rally yesterday following rumors that Ma Bell may be close to acquiring the remaining stake of the high speed cable Internet access provider. Shares also received an initial boost after Excite@Home's CFO Mark McEachen said he expects his company to be profitable by Q4 2000 or Q1 2001.

Shares of Walt Disney Internet Group tacked on 1/2 to 14 7/8 on news that the company plans to unveil its new entertainment-focused Go.com Web site. Included in the facelift is a revamped logo following the vertical portal's bitter trademark dispute with GoTo.com over a confusingly similar logo.

A day after acquiring rival ChinaRen.com to make it China's largest Internet portal, SINA.com announced the series launch of "Interactive Internet Solutions" in collaboration with Microsoft , Intel , and Great Wall Computers. Shares of SINA.com edged lower by 1/4 to 21 on the heels of the news.

After the bell yesterday, vitacost.com offered to merge operations with ailing vitamin e-tailer, MotherNature.com . The proposed buyout is the healthcare products retailer's second in as many months, already having been sought after by Sitestar.Com in an $11.4 million bid. Shares of MotherNature.com trended up 1/16 to 23/32.

Paul Shread is on assignment. His technical commentary will resume Monday, September 18.



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