Selling Returns to Internet, Tech Sectors

Technology and Internet stocks were down across the board Friday as investors were selling stocks across the board, not even sparing blue chip names.

The selling came amid news that the nation’s trade deficit reached a record high in March due to increased oil and auto imports.

At noon Eastern,’s Internet Stock Index had lost 23.90 to 663.69, the Nasdaq Composite was off 118.24 to 3,420.47 and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 134.67 to 10,642.61

Of all the ISDEX components, only Concentric Network Corp. was in positive territory, up 3-5/8 to 37 on no news.

Several issues were down more than 5 percent, including Ariba Inc. , off 3-3/4 to 60-3/16, 24/7 Media Inc. , down 1-3/8 to 19-5/8, CNET Inc. , down 2-13/16 to 33-1/8, EarthLink Network Inc. , off 1-3/8 to 18-3/8, Vignette Corp. had lost 2-3/16 to 44-9/16 and Cacheflow Inc. had tumbled 6-3/16 to 37-9/16. Inc. had lost 1-3/4 to 43. Business Week reported Friday Viacom Inc. or another media company may be looking to buy the firm.

Sycamore Networks Inc. had tumbled 8-1/8 to 84-1/8. The fiber-optic equipment maker reported a net income of 4 cents for the quarter ended April 29. That was a penny better than estimates.

Niku Corp. had shed 4-1/2 to 21-3/4. The maker of software to automate functions in professional service organizations reported a loss of 19 cents a share in its latest quarter, a nickel ahead of estimates.

There were several upside surprises in the sea of red ink. Egreetings Network Inc. had soared 1-1/8 to 3-1/2. The provider of free online greeting cards was selected by Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Internet to be its exclusive greeting card provider. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Portal Software had gained 4-7/32 to 43-7/32. The company, whose software allows Internet companies to automate billing, reported a first-quarter profit of 2 cents, 3 cents better than expected.

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