The technology sector's lackadaisical trade of late persisted early today. The inability to push higher on some friendly economic data yesterday has proved discouraging for bulls, though with the data suggesting the
may not need to raise interest rates when it meets later this month, there is no compelling argument for shorts as well.
In early trading, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
was down 17.7, or 0.5%, at 3781.90.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index was down 12.44, or 1.4%, at 886.24. There were some hawkish comments overnight from
Richmond Federal Reserve Bank
President Alfred Broaddus, who said that interest rates would continue to rise to prevent a re-emergence of inflationary pressures. Our own technical guru,
claims in a recent
column that the Nasdaq remains overbought, which provides little momentum on the upside.
Lack of market-moving news was also preventing much momentum early today. Among the early movers,
, which dropped 8% yesterday on news it had purchased
, was up 1 7/8, or 3%, at 64 5/8 early today.
was up 2 3/16, or 4.8%, at 45 3/8 after getting some positive comments from
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
DLJ analyst Jamie Kiggen wrote that after a meeting with priceline management, the tone of priceline's business was "very strong." He indicated that priceline could achieve profitability in the fourth quarter of this year, with an "outside chance" of profitability in the third quarter, though priceline management has not made any claims to that effect yet. Kiggen wrote that he expected the stock to rebound from its recent selloff that was caused by lockup concerns. DLJ has not done underwriting for priceline.
On the downside,
was off 31/32, or 22.6%, at 3 5/16. The company stated in a press release that it continues to search for an investor or merger partner, though "there can be no assurance that an offer will be received from any of these groups or that a transaction will be consummated prior to June 30, or at any time," according to the release." In addition, the company said if an offer is received, "the price of an offer may be below the current market price of CDNOW common stock."
Sticking with the music theme,
was up 1/16, or 2.3%, at 2 3/4 after the company said it would lay off 40 employees, or 20% of its staff in a move that would save the company $15 million over the next year. In conjunction with the announcement, the company said it expects to report revenue growth for the current quarter to be 20% better than pro forma revenue for the previous quarter and a loss per share lower than current Street estimates. According to
First Call/Thomson Financial
, Emusic is expected to report a loss of 36 cents a share for the quarter.