What's going on with the
? It just doesn't seem like anything specific needs to account for today's losses in high tech. Isn't a 60%-plus gain for the year enough? Isn't it about time the sector took a breather and traders took some profits off the table?
If the market really cared about this morning's strong
report and subsequent weakness in bonds, then the
wouldn't be up about 30 points. But few were
panicking or saying that today's selloff was the start of something bigger.
This afternoon, several sources are reporting that serious discussions are ongoing between officials at Microsoft
and the federal government in an attempt to settle the government's antitrust suit against the tech giant.
As a result, Microsoft shares are up 3 1/4, or 3.4%, to 100 in heavy volume of over 48 million shares. The stock's upswing has also helped move the Dow higher, responsible for 16 points of the Dow's current 30-point increase.
Among the biggest losers were those that have climbed the most over the past few months.
was down 11 5/16, only 3%, at 339 3/4.
, which went from 124 1/2 on Nov. 22 to a high of 302 Dec. 8, was down 20, or 8%, at 226 1/2.
There's a little more to be concerned about in the e-finance sector.
index was off 3 15/32, or 4%, at 83 1/16 in recent trading. The sector was likely feeling the sting from the weakness in Treasuries.
was off 2 1/4, or 6.6%, at 32 1/8. The Heard on the Street column in today's
Wall Street Journal
indicated that E*Trade's purchase of
is proceeding and the deal could be closed early next year, pending regulatory approval.
But the sector's bright spot could be found in Web hosting companies.
was up 12 7/8, or 10%, at 143 on a couple of deals.
Digital Island said it was teaming up with
to give Digital Island high-speed DSL delivery into major U.S. cities via Rhythms' broadband access solutions, while allowing Rhythms to offer Digital Island 3-Business Delivery Services to its customers. Rhythms NetConnections gained 27/32, or 2.3%, to 36 7/8 on the news.
, which is merging with Digital Island, said it had expanded its agreement with
for placing Sandpiper servers on the AOL Network.
was up 4 1/16, or 2.4%, at 171 3/4 after
Salomon Smith Barney
upgraded the stock to buy from outperform.
was up 6 1/4, or 13%, at 53 7/8, while
was up 16 3/4, or 25%, at 84, perhaps in sympathy with other Web hosters.