It's happened enough times before that it shouldn't come as a shock, but it still does. As the referee was about to count to 10, the Nasdaq got off the ground, shook out the cobwebs and staged an amazing comeback that should give it some breathing room the next couple of days.

The Nasdaq ended down 26.19, or 0.8%, at 3364.21, a remarkable 191.56 points from the session low of 3172.65. There was no real trigger for the recovery, though investors likely were buying as the market slipped below the recent low of about 3227 from last month. Some claimed the ability of


(CSCO) - Get Report

to stay above the 50 level also contributed to the rebound. Cisco closed up 1 13/16, or 3.4%, at 55 1/4 after trading right to 50. Internet Sector

index, or DOT, ended down 5.45, or 0.7%, at 818.38 after trading as low as 756.11.

The various scenarios for the close and what they would mean for the market were outlined in an earlier

piece. From a technical perspective the close around 3360 suggests that the worst could be over for the time being, though technicians would still like to see the Nasdaq trade above last week's high of 3750 and reverse its pattern of lower lows and lower highs.

While the early drop in the market was the focus for much of the day, there were a couple of high-profile mergers that were not well received and contributed to the market's slide.



closed down 8 15/16, or 20%, at 34 7/8 after it said that it would acquire



in an all-stock deal. Investors may have found fault with the 39% premium Vignette was paying for OnDisplay and that it was 25 times OnDisplay's 2001 revenue. That, along with general market weakness, helped punish the stock. OnDisplay ended up 7/8, or 1.6%, at 54 1/8 after trading as low as 48 3/8.



, which said it will acquire

Active Software


, closed down 15, or 17%, at 72. At $1.1 billion, webMethods is paying a 39% premium over the Friday close of Active Software, or 10 times its 2001 revenue projections. Active Software finished down 15/16, or 2.8%, at 32 1/16.

But the day was about the rebound and there were a couple of standouts.


(EBAY) - Get Report

closed up 18, or 15%, at 138 3/16 after trading as low as 109 1/2. The online auction service did say that its service would be accessible through


mobile portal, though there were likely other reasons for the gains. eBay's stock will split 2 for 1 as of the close of trading Wednesday, which may have helped some.



finished up 5 15/16, or 4.9%, at 126 1/4 after trading as low as 113 1/4. The company today launched Yahoo! StockDirect, a stock-purchase plan that gives individual investors the ability to purchase shares of Yahoo! common stock directly from the company.