B2B stood for bruised-to-beaten today.

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

saw red after it was downgraded by analyst William Chappell at

Robinson-Humphrey

, who cut the e-commerce software maker to neutral from outperform. He expressed concern over the future of the whole e-business software sector, in which BroadVision is a leader. Though Chappell acknowledged the long-term potential in the sector, he saw that the turmoil and consolidation that has pressured the stock 62% this year continuing for at least another quarter.

Caution will be the rule this week as investors play it cool in front of next week's earnings barrage. Like jilted lovers, traders were reluctant to trust, demanding that companies prove their worth with solid quarterly numbers before rekindling their interest.

According to the

Banc of America Securities

, most of the bad news in the PC sector has been absorbed. But it was too little, too late for

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

, which dropped $1.59, or almost 6%, to a new low at $24.50.

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

also fell 5% despite Banc of America's bullish comments.

Compaq

( CPQ),

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Gateway

( GTW) had good days.

Gateway signed an agreement with

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

to develop three marketplaces for small- and medium-sized businesses.

IBM managed to end the session 4.6% higher, while B2B partners Ariba

( ARBA)and i2 Technologies

( ITWO) took the heat after losing Global Health Care Exchange as a customer. If the three companies fancy themselves superheroes, as their self proclaimed nick name "The Alliance" implies, then the Exchange's electronic marketplace for health companies was their Kryptonite.

4:03 p.m.: In Tough Day for Tech, Internet Stocks Fall Hard

While October is the traditional month for bobbing for apples, investors started their fall activities early with last week's warning of an

earnings shortfall from

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

.

Nortel

( NT) tried to usher in a kinder October. The world's biggest fiber-optic equipment maker said its profits will match or exceed expectations. It also unveiled a new $1.4 billion contract to upgrade

Cable & Wireless's

(CBWL)

network to handle phone calls using Internet technology.

UBS Warburg

reiterated both its buy rating on the company and its price target of $115.

Nortel has advanced 23% this year and is expected to show expanding operating margins, the research note said. But Warburg was cautious with its praise. "The main area of potential disappointment is the enterprise business, where sales growth and profit margins have eroded in the past few quarters," analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos wrote.

Nortel was lately trading up $1.56, or 2.6%, to $61.94.

Nortel's rise was not enough to help lift the sagging

Nasdaq. But it did help prop up fellow networking stocks

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

Lucent

( LU). Cisco was lately up 0.5%, while Lucent was 9.6% higher. Lucent has been rising in the past few days of trading after falling pretty steadily since mid July.

The Internet sector tumbled downward as

TheStreet.com Internet Index

(DOT)

dived almost 5%.

Online retailing giant

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

fell along with other well-known Internet plays. It was off 7.3%.

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

was lately 2.9% lower;

priceline

(PCLN)

was off 8.4%; and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was 5.2% lower.

An article on ZDnet.com cast doubt on the viability of Amazon's partnership programs. The article implies that Amazon's struggling strategic partners are threatening the portal's revenue streams. A research note today from

Chase H&Q

said that Amazon's performance remains a wild card based on its slowing core music, book and video businesses. "Our sense is that investors will view Q3 as a placeholder en route to the holiday season as clearly all eyes are on Q4," the report said.

Yahoo! was down amid concerns over the future of online advertising. Then there was the negative spill-over from Friday's admission that Yahoo! Mail has been arbitrarily bouncing incoming messages and that its servers were on the blink.

Today the tech sector produced its own version of the ever-popular medical drama. Biotech firm

MedImmune

( MEDI) became the day's fifth most active Nasdaq issue -- and it wasn't because of any cute doctors. Slowing sales of Synagis, a drug that treats respiratory infections in children, prompted

Banc of America

to downgrade the company to market performer from buy. It had lately lost more than 26% of its value. The bad news came on the heels of good times for the company, which hit a 52-week-high of $86.12 on September 25.

America Online

(AOL)

was gaining on happy talk from

Lehman Brothers

, which poo-pooed concerns about problems with the company's impending merger with

Time Warner

(TWX)

. "After 9 months of underperformance," the note said, "we believe that AOL's stock is poised to do well."

Broadvision

(BVSN) - Get Report

, was lately down 15.8%.