Stocks Struggle In Choppy Trading Session

The blue-chips took a break Wednesday from the market’s stomach-wrenching downturn, but for Internet and technology stocks, it was more (if slightly less intense) nausea.

The Dow Jones ended up 29.71, or 0.3%, to 9515.42, though it took a rally in the final 20 minutes of trading to go over the top. The Nasdaq lost early momentum in the afternoon to finish down 34.17, or 2.0%, to 1638.83. I said it this morning, I’ll say it now: The Nasdaq is going to 1200 before this thing is over.

The S&P 500 slipped 4.36, or 0.4%, to 1102.10, while’s Internet Stock Index, or ISDEX, fell 1.32, or 0.8%, to 162.31.

Ten Internet sectors had more losers than gainers Wednesday, with two others — Security and Search/Portal — breaking even. Only Consultants/Designers had more advancers (10) than decliners (eight). For all sector breakdowns, visit WSRN’s Internet sectors page.

The leading gainer on the ISDEX was multimedia software and services vendor RealNetworks , which rose 13.2% to $6.97 one day after announcing a deal with three major music companies to distribute their songs online.

Another ISDEX member, VeriSign , climbed 9.8% to $30.75 as investors responded favorably to a decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to allow the company to continue running the entire database of names through 2007.

Portal giant Yahoo! moved up 9.3% to $12.44, a day after reaching its lowest closing price ($11.38) in more than three years.

Bandwidth management systems provider Packeteer dead-cat bounced 44.1% to $3.06 after hitting a new low close of $2.13 on Tuesday.

Crayfish Co. Ltd. , a provider of e-mail and other Internet services to businesses in Japan, plunged 32.1% to $5.69 Wednesday after the company announced the resignation of its corporate auditors. (Investors frown upon that?)

Perhaps the noisiest, if not furthest, fall of the day among tech plays belonged to Lucent Technologies, which lost 13.6% to $6.78 amid rumors that the company may seek court protection from creditors. Lucent’s CFO dismissed the bankruptcy whispers as “baseless and irresponsible.”

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

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