An emerging-markets fund manager has been blamed for the latest Internet selloff. But when you rally on emotion, you sell off on emotion, and that's what was happening.
Templeton Emerging Markets Fund
manager Mark Mobius, one of the more influential strategists in the emerging-markets field, has created a stir, warning that recent volatility in Internet stocks could be the start of a global crash in the sector.
"I think we're nearing the time, that's my guess. And it will be big. ... Some stocks will be 90% or 50% down," Mobius told reporters, according to
. He went on to say that uneasiness over valuations could lead to panic selling, and today's action appeared to be bearing him out. The report was picked up by
, which only made matters worse in dot-com land.
"I'm really quite concerned that people are chasing after these stocks," Mobius told
. "I've recently been talking to some of these companies in emerging markets. What worries me is when you talk to these people, there is no mention of earnings." When it comes to how they will ever earn money, "some of these companies don't have a clue."
Mobius doesn't own any Internet stocks now, though he recently held one, highflying Hong Kong Internet portal
. "We like the people behind it and we trusted that they would be able to make a go of it," he said. "When the price exploded all the projections were wiped out. It didn't make sense. We just dumped it."
It was just the latest salvo fired at the Internet sector.
piece on burn rates of Internet companies spooked the sector for a couple days, though it bounced back with the rest of technology following last week's interest rate hike by the
Federal Reserve. And Tuesday, influential
Abby Joseph Cohen
said her aggressive portfolio was no longer overweighted in technology stocks.
Losses in Net stocks were widespread and there was little discrimination among what was falling, though stocks that had rallied the most of late, such as Net bellwethers and business-to-business plays, were particularly hard hit.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index, which includes many of the traditional Net names, was down 64.42, or 5.3%, to 1152.67 in recent trading. About the only thing that was bailing the sector out were technical factors. The session low of 1144.66 in the DOT was just above the recent low from March 21 of 1142.22, and a few more points above the 1135.31 low from March 16.
, which has rallied on talk of a partnership with
was down 16 9/16, or 7%, to 207 1/4. Yahoo! was off 8 3/8, or 4%, to 186 5/8.
3 1/2, or 5%, to 66 5/8.
TheStreet.com New Tech 30, which includes more of the sector's highfliers, was down 36.68, or 4.6%, to 769.45. Among the stocks that were quickly backpedaling,
was off 32 1/2, or 15%, to 186;
was down 20 1/2, or 10%, to 179 3/8;
was off 18 7/16, or 9%, to 186 9/16;
was off 20 1/8, or 12%, to 141 1/8;
was down 17 5/16, or 8%, to 188 11/16.
It says a lot to be up in such a down market, but there were a couple of stocks in the green.
was up 1 9/32, or 24%, to 6 19/32 after the company said that it would introduce three co-branded Web sites with
. AOL was down 3, or 4% to 68 13/16. And
was up 2 5/16, or 7%, at 36 5/8 on
news of an expanded agreement with