If there was ever a market that needed a long weekend it's this one. Tech stocks dragged into the holiday weekend, with traders selling amid uncertainty about what next week will bring.
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index closed down 15.73, or 2.0%, to 791.13. That was up from its low of 780.34, but far from the session high of 829.16.
TheStreet.com New Tech 30 closed down 16.07, or 3.2%, to 493.33. The
ended down 62.48, or 1.7%, to 3643.93. For the week, the Nasdaq gained more than 300 points, though there remains considerable debate over whether lows from last week will be revisited or the tech sector is ready for another leg up. Those of you that are bearish on the market may want to check out Gary B. Smith's
column on tips for short trading that ran earlier today.
It was easy to see what moved the day's winning stocks -- earnings. A number of companies that posted good numbers yesterday benefited even in a down market.
closed up 6 9/16, or 21%, to 38 1/16 after positing a
profit and announcing a $100 million stock buyback. Also,
ended up 7 1/4, or 15%, to 55 after beating
Also on the plus side,
Internet Capital Group
, closed up 2 7/8, or 7%, to 43 3/4.
Credit Suisse First Boston
initiated coverage of ICG with a strong-buy rating, indicating they were looking at almost 76% upside to current market levels of valuation.
Companies that did not fare well after issuing quarterly reports included
Vignette beat Street estimates by 2 cents, but still closed down 7 13/16, or 13%, to 52 3/4. VeriSign met one criteria investors are now looking for; it posted a profit of 2 cents. However, that was only one penny better than estimates. The stock closed down 12 7/16, or 9.5%, to 118 1/2. Phone.com's 8-cent loss was 8 cents better than expectations; But it still closed down 6 1/4, or 8.5%, to 67 11/16 after running up in advance of the report.
Excite@Home did just about the worst thing it could do: After missing Street estimates, it announced it would spend more to increase its business. This is a no-no in an investment community that is suddenly concerned with earnings. But
Warburg Dillon Read
analyst Michael Wallace was able to look past Excite@Home's near-term concerns, upgrading the stock to a strong buy from buy. That didn't help, as Excite@Home closed down 2, or 10%, to 17 15/16.
Among the Internet companies scheduled to report earnings next week are:
on the 24th;
on the 25th;
on the 26th; and
on the 27th.