April Opens With Downpour

For most Internet and technology stocks, Monday was a bad day. For e-commerce software maker Art Technology Group and shareholders, it was a trading session from hell.

Shares of ARTG plummeted as far as 56.3% to $5.25 after the company announced it would have a first-quarter loss instead of a profit. Art Technology finished trading at $5.97, down 50.3%.

ARTG also helped drag internet.com’s Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, back below the 200 mark. The ISDEX ended Monday’s session at 191.39, a loss of 14.33, or 6.97%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq took a beating, falling 57.36, or 3.1%, to 1782.90. The Dow Jones, after a promising start fizzled, ended down 100.85, or 1.0%, to 9777.93, while the S&P 500 dipped 16.30, or 1.4%, to 1144.03.

Twelve of 13 Internet sectors had more losers than gainers, with only E-tailers above water. More than 75% of ‘Net tickers tracked by the Internet Stock Report finished in the red.

ARTG said Monday that Q1 revenues are now forecast between $40 million and $42 million, far below the $69.6 million Wall Street estimate. The company’s projected net loss of 19 cents to 22 cents per share contrasts disastrously with the consensus analysts’ prediction of a 9 cents per share net profit.

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

Art Technology Group competitors BroadVision (an ISDEX member) and BEA Systems were hurt by the fallout, with BVSN nosediving 15.8% to $4.50 and BEAS falling 11.9% to $25.88.

Internet consultant IXL Enterprises plunged 40.8% to $1.41 on a day when it announced Q1 earnings will be released on April 25. IXL was on the downside of a spike that saw shares rise 49% to $2.38 on Friday in reaction to buyout rumors.

The top ‘Net percentage gainers Monday were the usual assortment of penny stocks: MyPoints.com , up 30.0% to 81 cents; WHEREVER.net , up 27.3% to 44 cents; and iPrint , up 25% to 47 cents.

One notable gainer was priceline.com , which rose 21.0% to $3.06 after announcing its Q1 loss will be about 5 cents per share, “at the favorable end” of PCLN’s February net loss estimate of 5 cents to 7 cents.

Here’s some technical analysis from Paul Shread:

April 2, 4 p.m.: The Nasdaq 100 broke support off the late
December/early January lows at 1517 today (not pictured), a big
negative. The hopeful signs are that the Nasdaq 100’s angle of descent
has clearly slowed in the last few weeks (first chart), and the index is
closing in on strong support in the 1400-1485 range (second chart). But
the Nasdaq broke its recent 1794 low, and the Philadelphia Semiconductor
Index broke support at 515 that has held since November. As we said on
Friday, buyers have yet to materialize, and stocks can drift down a long
way without buyers. The Dow turned back today at important 10,000
resistance, but the Dow and S&P 500 continue to hold up relatively well
(second and third charts). For the Dow, 9687 is the first strong
support, followed by the 9400-9500 level. The S&P 500 continues to find
support at 1140, and 1120 is the next support below that. Key resistance
is 1182.

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