Net Sector Begins Week on a Sour Note

Microsoft's woes are reigniting fears that recent lows may come into play again.
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As the

Elian Gonzalez

saga came to a climax this weekend, we couldn't help thinking that

INS

agents would make great margin clerks, forcing traders to cough up their money at gunpoint as they lay shaking and scared in their closets.

Traders were looking to keep the margin clerks at bay as the week began on a sour note.

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

woes were contributing to weakness throughout the technology sector and were reigniting fears that the recent lows may come into play again. Our own

James Cramer

saw Mr. Softee as a

buy after it plunged on the opening. It recently was trading down 13 1/8, or 17%, at 65 13/16.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 48.14, or 6.08%, at 742.99.

TheStreet.com New Tech 30 was down 61.32, or 12.04%, at 448.07. The

Nasdaq

was down 216.67, or 5.95%, at 3427.21.

Among Internet stocks,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was down 8 1/8, or 6.6%, at 115. The company was featured in a

Barron's

story over the weekend that focused on its revenue.

Barron's

also took a look at

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

and how it plans to become profitable. Amazon was down 1 3/4, or 3.3%, at 50 5/8.

Among stocks in the news,

priceline.com

(PCLN)

was down 3 7/16, or 5%, at 64 7/16 despite a solid earnings

report. The name-your-own price online retailer reported a loss of 4 cents a share in the first quarter, better than the 6-cent loss estimate from

First Call/Thomson Financial

. Revenue of $313.8 million was up 535% from the year-ago $49.4 million. The company added 1.5 million new customers during the quarter, bringing its total customer base to 5.3 million.

Ryan Alexander, vice president of equity research with

Wit/Soundview

, told

TSC

that the company had a "superb" quarter across all its metrics. He said he expected priceline.com to be profitable in early 2001, or late in 2000. Wit/Soundview has done underwriting for priceline.com.

Also,

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

was down 1 5/16, or 8%, at 14 11/16. The company has

unveiled an online brokerage arm,

Freetrade.com

, that offers just what its name suggests, free trades. Freetrade.com is offering qualified investors free online trades for market orders, or trades at the market price. Limit orders, in which the investor can set the price, cost $5 each. The site will not give traders the option of short-selling, something that could have come in handy today. Ameritrade expects to make money from Freetrade.com through advertising, interest income on customer accounts and payment for order flow -- getting paid for sending trades to other brokers.

NetZero

(NZRO)

was up 3 23/32, or 46%, at 12 after getting a $144 million investment from

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

. Qualcomm will acquire a 10% stake in the free Internet access provider.

Finally,

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

was down 19 11/16, or 18%, at 88 despite besting earnings expectations on

Thursday. The Web-hosting provider reported a loss of 23 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the consensus estimate. There was nothing that stood out as overly negative in the report, suggesting losses were profit-taking more than anything else, particularly after the stock ran up into the report and then was down sharply today with the market.