AOL Becomes A Subsidiary Of A Conglomerate

It’s come to this.

America Online may officially become just a subsidiary of a traditional media conglomerate tomorrow.

The board of AOL Time Warner may drop “AOL” from its name when it meets tomorrow, according to reports. The new stock symbol is expected to become TWX, Time Warner’s old symbol before the companies’ rocky merger three years ago.

Makes you wish they’d just spin off AOL. While AOL’s own missteps have fueled this, you can bet the bottom is in when corporations make moves like this.

It’s up there with Corning’s decision yesterday to drop its VC business. Tech companies were stumbling all over each other to get into the venture capital business at the top, when valuations were at their peak and demand had nowhere to go but down. Now they’re shedding investments in start-ups at a time when valuations are cheap and there might just be a market again for new technology.

Looks like small investors aren’t the only ones who buy at the top and sell at the bottom.

The broader market slipped on mixed housing data and disappointing guidance from Dupont . Late in the day, NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso, under fire for his salary and approach to industry self-regulation, resigned.

The Nasdaq gave back 4 to 1883, the S&P 500 slipped 3 to 1025, and the Dow lost 21 to 9545. Volume declined to 1.32 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 16-15 on the NYSE, and 16-15 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 46% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 192-13 on the NYSE, and 330-4 on the Nasdaq.

Transmeta soared 33% on a deal with NVIDIA .

Roxio surged 25% on a Napster deal with Samsung.

Sprint rose 1.7% on cost-cutting moves.

EMC and Verizon rose on a storage services pact.

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