Internet Stocks Stagger To 2000 Finish Line - Updated
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Update: As promised in the Morning Report posted early today, I'm adding final numbers so we can close the books on this dismal year.
Let's start with the Nasdaq. Rather than gaining at least 83 points on Friday to avoid its worst year ever, the exchange fell 85 points to 2,471, leaving it with a record 39% annual decline.
True to this year's form, Internet stocks were hit even harder, as internet.com's Internet Stock Index plunged 5.5% to 361.47. The ISDEX finishes Year 2000 down a whopping 58%.
Remember I mentioned below that at least three of the 13 gainers listed were in jeopardy of falling off the list? Two of them - TIBCO Software and Wireless Facilities - did. In fact, only one of the 13 posted an advance in Friday's trading. I've re-figured percentage gains for the remaining 11.
Well, at last it's here: The end of a nightmarish year for Internet investors. With only one more day of trading before the market closes for the final time in 2000, we now have a good idea of what the numbers will look like - and it isn't pretty.
While it might make more sense to wait until the next Morning Report on Tuesday to wrap up the year, that's four days from now, and I'm all for getting this behind us as quickly as possible. So this morning I'll provide figures through Thursday's close, and update the data later in the day, after the final bell rings. Check back here later, if you dare.
First, the big (ugly) picture. Barring a gain of 83 points on Friday, the Nasdaq is headed for its worst year in history. The technology-heavy exchange closed last Dec. 31 at 4069.28; Thursday's close of 2557.76 leaves it down 37.14% with one trading session remaining in 2000.
As any attentive investor knows, Internet stocks bore the brunt of this year's downturn. internet.com's 50-member Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, has plunged 55.54% from last Dec. 31's closing mark of 860.35.
Of the nearly 300 Internet stocks that have been trading all year, less than 4% managed to scrape together gains. That percentage would be even lower if we included the many 'Net companies that went out of business after losing well over 90% of their value.
So which 'Net companies finished the year on the plus side? Here's the meager list (updated to include Friday's close):
Ticker Company %Gain Sector GENI GenesisIntermedia.com 195% Consultants/Designers CHKP Check Point Software 169% Security JNPR Juniper Networks 122% Speed/Bandwidth RIMM Research in Motion Ltd. 73% Wireless NETE Netegrity 43% Security OTEX Open Text 17% Performance Software ITWO i2 Technologies 12% E-commerce Enablers ISSX Internet Security Systems 10% Security IDTC IDT 8% ISPs/Access Providers IWOV Interwoven 8% Performance Software WGRD WatchGuard Technologies 5% Security
The Morning Report will return Tuesday, Jan. 2. Until then, I hope you all enjoy your New Year's holiday. See you in the real new millennium.