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RealTime IT News

'Net, Tech Stocks Gain

Internet and tech stocks extended their winning streak to three days on Wednesday, while "old economy" tickers stumbled.

The Dow Jones needed a rally in the last half-hour of trading to climb back above the 10000 mark. Still, the Dow finished down 89.27, or 0.9%, to 10013.47.

The Nasdaq was up all day, reaching a high as 1948 before drifting back down to close at 1898.95, a gain of 46.92, or 2.4%. The S&P 500 dipped 1.92, or 0.2%.

Internet stocks again led the market, with internet.com's Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, rising 6.41, or 3.1%, to 213.58. Thirty-four of the 50 ISDEX member stocks were up Wednesday.

'Net sectors were generally strong, with only three of 13 -- Advertising/Marketing, E-tailers and ISPs/Access Providers -- showing more losers than winners. For full sector breakdowns, visit WSRN's Internet sectors page.

Ironically, the biggest newsmaker of the day among Internet stocks -- search portal leader Yahoo -- barely moved Wednesday, as shares slipped 1.0% to $15.86 in anticipation of the company's Q1 report.

Released after the market's close, Yahoo's quarterly numbers edged out Wall Street forecasts. The company reported pro forma net income of 1 cent per share on revenue of $180.2 million. Analysts had expected a break-even performance and sales of $172.4 million.

Yahoo also announced it would lay off 12% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs. The company now employs 3,510.

(For earnings reports, visit our earnings calendar and our reported-earnings page. For after-hours quotes and news, visit After Hours Trading.)

Among the more notable Internet gainers were:

E-commerce software maker Commerce One , which advanced 13.6% to $9.30, the third consecutive positive day for CMRC. Since warning last week of worse-than-expected quarterly results, shares have been trading near 52-week lows. CMRC appeared to get a boost Tuesday after naming a new COO, the former head of IT at Federal Express.

Web services provider Exodus Communications gained 13.2% to $8.14, as Morgan Stanley on Tuesday reiterated a "strong buy" recommendation, even as it was reducing its price target for EXDS to $20 from $40 per share. Prudential Securities also maintained a "strong buy" on EXDS, while cutting its 12-month price target to $15 from $45.

Network access security software provider Netegrity rose 13.1% to $30.20 on no visible catalyst. Since hitting a 52-week closing low of $17.27 on April 3, NETE has soared 74.9%.

And now for some technical analysis from Paul Shread:

April 11, 4 p.m.: The Nasdaq closed below its open today (1929.93), forming a black candlestick (first chart). Not the kind of thing you want to see on an up day, because it means that a lot of traders took advantage of the strong opening to sell. Also in that chart, notice that the Nasdaq has yet to set a higher high, which would occur at 1980. As we've said, everything is a dress rehearsal until tomorrow morning, when Juniper Networks and GE report. The stocks that are expected to do well will be the most important ones this earnings cycle (assuming Cisco doesn't post a loss), and that list is short: Ciena and Check Point are two others that come to mind. The S&P 500 took out its highest downtrend line from late January (second chart), only to close back below it. The whole 1181-1215 area could be tough resistance for the S&P. The Dow continues to run into resistance at about 10,150, a broken uptrend line from March 2000 (third chart). 10,000 is just a psychological level; the real work begins in the 10,150-10,300 range. The Dow may be forming a bearish rising wedge or bear pennant (fourth chart), which could mean a retest of the 9100-9400 level. Treated as a bear pennant or measured bear move, the Dow could be headed as low as 7800-8400.



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