Mergers Little Help for Techs

Merger news did little to help the tech sector on Wednesday.

IBM’s acquisition of Internet Security and the latest expression of interest in Gateway did little to rescue the sector from a broad market sell-off on weaker than expected home sales.

Gateway shares jumped 13% on a $450 million offer for its retail business from eMachines founder John Hui. The move follows a recent 10% stake in Gateway by hedge funds.

National Semi was a surprising gainer, rising 3.5% despite warning that it will miss sales estimates on weak wireless handset shipments. TI lost 3% on a downgrade.

Rambus jumped 18% after a court delayed the final stage of its Hynix trial.

Applied Signal fell 6% on its results.

In late trading, Creative Technology shares soared on a $100 million settlement with Apple .

The Nasdaq fell 15 to 2134, the S&P 500 lost 5 to 1293, and the Dow fell 42 to 11,297. Volume declined to 1.96 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.51 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 22-10 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 99-38 on the NYSE, and 55-80 on the Nasdaq.

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