Big Techs Stall While ‘Nets Fly

The Nasdaq gained more than 1% on Thursday, but the biggest technology stocks were curiously absent from the rally.

Microsoft , Dell , Intel and IBM combined to finish flat on the day, while only Cisco managed to keep pace with the index.

Leading the rally were eBay , Yahoo , Amazon and the USA Interactive juggernaut.

At least for now, the ‘Nets are back in charge, and old tech has become, well, old news.

Microsoft , for example, has fallen in seven of the last nine trading sessions. Reasons given have ranged from reports of insider selling to rumors of pending price cuts. Indeed, insiders have sold some 41 million shares at Microsoft in the last three months, according to the Nasdaq Web site.

But eBay, Yahoo and Amazon have seen their share of insider selling too, from 1.2-2.6 million shares each in the last three months. When adjusted for share price and market cap, the insider selling at those companies isn’t that much less than at Microsoft.

Which reminds us of the old saw: Stocks go up when there are more buyers than sellers. They go down when there are more sellers than buyers. Every other reason given for a stock’s move is an educated guess.

For now, there are more buyers than sellers in ‘Net stocks. Enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.

The broader market gained after Congress approved a compromise tax cut and a survey of business economists expressed optimism about a second half recovery.

The Nasdaq rose 17 to 1506, the S&P 500 climbed 8 to 931, and the Dow gained 77 to 8594. Volume rose to 1.46 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.8 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 21-10 on the NYSE, and 19-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 78% on the NYSE, and 75% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 304-15 on the NYSE, and 142-13 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Marvell and TiVo beat estimates, while Serena matched estimates.

During the day, Bluefly soared 63% on more interest from George Soros.

Synopsis surged 16% after beating estimates.

RealNetworks gained 4% on a deal with Playboy.

Lucent and McData rose more than 3% each on a partnership.

Microstrategy gained 9% on a deal with eBay .

Roxio , the new owner of the Napster name, fell 12% on its earnings report.

Market Commentary: For our free daily market commentary and technical analysis, please visit the home page at:

News Around the Web