Technology, Internets Take a Fall

Internet stocks were slumping in midday trading Tuesday, in part due to comments from Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs who recommended investors decrease their technology holdings.

Cohen, who chair’s Goldman’s investment policy committee and has traditionally been one of Wall Street’s most bullish analysts, said she was cutting the percentage of equities in her model portfolio by 5 percent to 65 and increased the amount of cash from zero to 5 percent.

Those comments helped send’s Internet Stock Index down 10.66, or .99 percent, to 1,069.84 and the Nasdaq Composite had slumped 45.41 to 4,913.15. Strength in financial stocks had helped the Dow Jones industrial average gain 19.39 to 11,045.24.

It was proving to be a mixed day for the leaders, although several had posted decent gains, including Ariba Inc. (ARBA), up 4-15/16 to 250-3/4, Checkpoint Software (CHKP), adding 2-13/16 to 207-3/4, Juniper Networks (JNPR) rising 20-1/16 to 296-1/2, Net2Phone (NTOP) was up 4-3/8 to 55-7/8 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) had added 3 to 192-1/4. Inc. (AWEB), up 25/32 to 8-31/32 after hitting 10-9/16 earlier in the session. The online auto retailer expects first-quarter revenue to surpass original forecasts. It also projects its quarterly loss will be 25 percent below estimates. Fellow auto e-tailer Autobytel (ABTL) had added 9/16 to 8-15/16. The company reported first-quarter sales of $3.4 billion. (BUYX) had gained 1/2 to 10-1/8. The online retailer Tuesday launched a site targeting U.K customers.

Elsewhere in the sector, things were mostly negative despite several positive analyst moves. eBay Inc. (EBAY) had lost 7-9/16 to 232-1/4 despite Paine Webber hiking its price target by $60 to $285. The firm maintained its “buy” rating.

RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) had shed 3-1/8 to 69-1/2. Dain Rauscher Wessels initiated coverage with a “buy,” setting a $100 target.

Efficient Networks Inc. (EFNT) was off 8-1/16 to 163-1/2. The maker of high-speed Internet access equipment Tuesday purchased Netscreen Technologies Inc. for $905.9 million in stock.

Internet Commerce Corp. (ICCSA) was off 1-5/8 to 52-5/8. The electronic commerce software maker announced co-founder and Executive Vice President Michele Golden had resigned.

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