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RealTime IT News

Up Week Ends On Down Note

It would have been nice if the market headed into the weekend on a high note, as it did last Thursday, but it's unlikely many investors are complaining about how stocks performed overall this week.

In a day characterized by profit-taking, the Dow Jones fell 113.86, or 1.1%, to 10579.85, while the Nasdaq inched down 18.96, or 0.9%, to 2163.18. The S&P 500 dipped 10.91, or 0.9%, to 1242.79.

Internet stocks fell just a bit more, as internet.com's Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, lost 3.78, or 1.4%, to 262.24, with only 17 of its 50 member stocks gaining. Six of the 13 Internet sectors tracked by the Internet Stock Report and WSRN had more advancers than decliners. For full sector breakdowns, visit WSRN's Internet sectors page.

For the week, the numbers were much healthier. Here's how the major exchanges and indexes fared:

Weekly 4/20 Close % Change Dow Jones 10579.85 +4.47% Nasdaq 2163.18 +10.29% S&P500 1242.79 +5.01% ISDEX 262.24 +15.67%

Clearly Internet and technology stocks got the biggest boost from the Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to cut interest rates by a half-point. But the 'Nets and techs also benefited from the perception that they have been oversold in recent months. Indeed, this was the second consecutive week in which the Nasdaq and ISDEX posted double-digit gains. And some decent earnings reports certainly didn't hurt.

Microsoft rose a measly 1.4% to $69, despite an earnings report released Thursday that showed the software giant making a profit in its fiscal third quarter of 44 cents per share, topping analysts' EPS estimates of 42 cents. However, investors reacted adversely to MSFT's projection of a 41 cent to 42 cent profit in Q4, slightly below street EPS forecasts of 43 cents.

Server giant Sun Microsystems got whacked despite beating earnings estimates, with shares dropping 4.8% to $19.71. SUNW posted a Q3 profit of 8 cents, edging estimates of 7 cents per share. Like Microsoft, though, Sun's Q4 earnings guidance fell short of street forecasts.

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

Among the top gainers in the Internet space were:

E-business consultant Proxicom , which soared 41.8% to $4.68. This follows an 82.3% advance on Wednesday. Since hitting an all-time closing low of $1.81 on Tuesday, shares of PXCM are up 159%.

Internet consultant Razorfish , up 67.1% to $1.17. The gain put RAZF over the $1 mark for the first time in nearly five weeks.

Search engine site Ask Jeeves , up 35.4% to $2.14. Since falling below $1 early this month, ASKJ has climbed for nine straight trading sessions.

Here's some brief technical analysis from Paul Shread:

We are at a potentially important cycle turn date today through Tuesday; the market's ability not to roll over the next two days is very important. If the market can survive the next two days without selling off hard, it could head up through the end of the month. But if we fail here, below the January bottoms on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, it would not be a good sign for the bulls. And the Dow is under the important 10,859 level, where its steep sell-off began, and is very overbought; the inability to take that 10,859 level out would be bearish for the old industrials, many of which have failed to set higher highs. The bulls' case would be strengthened by moves above 10,859 on the Dow, 1305 on the S&P 500, and 2320 on the Nasdaq.