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In Brutal Day, Even Net Stocks With Solid Numbers Were Under Pressure

On April 4, the Nasdaq traded to a low of 3649.11. It ended the day at 4148.89, then climbed as high as 4446 on April 7. If you blinked, you missed the move higher. So, with the Nasdaq languishing around 3800 today, there were plenty of opportunities for those who missed out the last time around to find some once-hot stocks at bargain prices.

There were few takers.

The Nasdaq ended the day down 286.27, or 7.1%, at 3769.63. Though it may take at least one more day to test the April 4 low, it appeared that's what traders were shooting for.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index, or DOT, closed down 58.60, or 6.5%, at 847.24, while

TheStreet.com New Tech 30 tumbled 141.91, or 21%, to 543.37.

The fear now is that not only will the 3649 low be tested, but it could even be breached. There is still some support at the 3748.00 low reached on Jan. 31, which incidentally is the last time the Nasdaq closed below the 4000 level. But even for all the pain the market has inflicted, remember the Nasdaq was up 86% last year and was still within spitting distance of the 4069 level it closed at in 1999.

Meanwhile, the DOT was heading toward its April 4 low, 819.04, an area that could provide some support, though not likely if the Nasdaq is down another 200 points tomorrow.

What would it take to stem the tide? A couple of things. First, the above-mentioned technical levels could hold and encourage buyers to return and also squeeze out shorts established over the past few days. Second, good earnings reports over the next few days could improve the mood of investors, though it appears that investors will not be so inclined to reward Internet companies for beating estimates unless they are turning a profit.

Finally, economic data could provide some relief if numbers are tame enough to suggest the Fed may not need to be aggressively raising rates. Both the

Producer Price Index

and retail sales reports for March will be reported tomorrow before the stock market begins trading.

James Padinha

took a look at this week's numbers in a

column that ran earlier in the week. Note that Padinha was right on the money when he said the bond was due for a "smack" this week.

Solid quarterly numbers were not able to stop sellers in a number of Internet stocks today.

TheStreet Recommends

Check Point Software

(CHKP) - Get Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. Report

closed down 1 15/16, or 1%, at 167 9/16 after trading as high as 187.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

finished down 11/16, or 3%, at 22 3/4 after trading as high as 25 1/4.

More ugly numbers.

webMethods

(WEBM)

closed down 34 1/4, or 19%, at 141.

Vignette

(VIGN)

dropped 27 5/8, or 19%, to 118 7/8.

Software.com

(SWCM)

tumbled 23 3/4, or 24%, to 75.

Lifeminders.com

(LFMN)

finished down 19 1/8, or 30%, to 44.

Among some B2B plays,

E.piphany

(EPNY)

fell 17 1/8, or 18%, to 77 5/16;

Commerce One

(CMRC)

fell 16 1/4, or 15%, to 93 3/4;

Kana Communications

(KANA)

dropped 9 1/16, or 17%, to 42 15/16; and

PurchasePro

(PPRO)

fell 8 1/4, or 19%, to 35 1/4.

Also,

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

closed down 36 1/4, or 44%, at 45 3/4 after market analysts cut their earnings and revenue outlook for the company. And

Modem Media

(MMPT)

closed off 5, or 26%, at 14 1/2 after the company said it had delayed a planned follow-on offering due to market conditions.