Profit-taking Snowballs Into the Weekend

Profit-taking that had sent the markets tumbling earlier in the week,
snowballed by late Friday, as investors were busy squaring positions ahead
of the weekend. Traders could pick their poison as to what spurred the
latest sell-off. Jitters over rate hikes, economic uncertainty, or just
some good old-fashioned panic selling.


Either way, blue chips headed lower on Fed concerns, sending the NYSE
plunging 150.43 to 10,626.85. Internet and tech stocks picked up where they
left off yesterday, dragging the Nasdaq underwater 148.10 to 3,390.61, and
the ISDEX off 5.59%.


A new version of the Love Bug virus was on the loose this morning. Experts
confirm that the latest mutation is far more damaging than its predecessor.
PC users are advised to be on the look-out for those annoying joke e-mails
your co-workers keeping bugging you with.


Computer vaccine issues were mixed on the news. Shares of McAfee.com
remained unchanged on the day. Symantec eased 5/8 to 62-5/16, while Network Associates shed 1-1/8 to 21-3/16.


Shares in Yahoo! climbed in early morning trade,
before investors sent the online media giant packing, down 11-11/16 to
120-5/16. The activity followed yesterday’s hotly anticipated closed-door
analyst meeting. Many attending the annual meeting returned bullish on the
company’s wireless initiatives.


Egreetings marched 1-7/32 to 3-19/32, after the
online greeting card concern announced that it has inked a deal with
Microsoft to manage and host free e-cards for
the software giant’s family of Web properties, which include Hotmail.com
and WebTV.


The Lycos soap opera continued unabated today.
Shares slipped another 4-3/16 to 58-1/8 as investors digested the portal’s
Q3 earnings results and David Wetherell’s hand-wringing over the Terra
Networks’
merger deal.


Shares of Sycamore Networks plummeted 11-5/16 to
80-15/16, after the optical networking component maker reported Q3 earnings
of $0.05 per share, ahead of consensus estimates by two cents, and
better-than-expected sales figures of $60 million.

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