"Rotation" and "parabolic" were the watchwords on Wall Street last week. Today, traders (re-)added "fear" and "ugliness" to the lexicon.

Money continued to flow into the cyclicals, but the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

stumbled dramatically from its intraday high of 10,765.75, closing down 53.36, or 0.5%, to 10,440.53.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

,

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

,

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

provided the biggest drag on the Dow.

Moreover, other major averages recoiled from early gains to end with substantive losses, leaving market players unnerved.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

overcame early reticence to rise as high as 2501.71 around 11 a.m. EDT. But the tech-compliant index fell precipitously thereafter, tumbling as low as 2344.12 before closing off 138.43, or 5.6%, to 2345.61. The decline is the second-worst in point terms and seventh-worst in percentage terms in Nasdaq history.

Market internals evinced the drama of today's session. In

New York Stock Exchange

trading, 1.214 billion shares were exchanged -- the second-busiest session in NYSE history and third-straight billion-plus-share session -- while gainers led losers 1,926 to 1,194. In

Nasdaq Stock Market

activity 1.210 billion shares were exchanged -- its 10th-straight billion-plus session -- while losers led 2,452 to 1,685. New 52-week highs bested new lows 163 to 32 on the Big Board and by 80 to 76 in over-the-counter trading.

Technology's champions such as

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

and

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

each stumbled more than 5%. The

Nasdaq 100

fell 5.7%, decisively piercing its 50-day moving average.

In NYSE trading, tech stalwarts such as

Gateway

(GTW)

,

Lucent

(LU)

,

Motorola

(MOT)

and

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

suffered similar declines. The

Morgan Stanley High-Tech 35

shed 6.7% and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

lost 4.9%.

America Online

(AOL)

, meanwhile, fell 15.7%, heading a severe reversal among Internet stocks.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index fell 108.21, or 16.2%, to 560.81 while

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

lost 23.99, or 18.4%, to 106.75.

"This is ugly," said one market strategist. "Guys are walking around here with AOL and they're dying. All of these parabolic moves in Internet stocks are over."

But not everyone was crying over spilled InterMilk.

"If you're an equity trader, you love a day like today," said Samuel Ginzburg, managing director of equity trading at

Gruntal

. "If you know the company, know the stock and understand the magnitude of herd mentality, you can be nimble and make some money. Your stomach might hurt, but you can make some money."

For example, Ginzburg said he bought some AOL a few minutes before the bell at 113 1/4 and sold it "at the last possible second" before the close for 115 7/8. "It's kind of amazing to me

but you can take a minute gamble and make or lose $10,000 or $20,000 in the stock," he said, ebullient that it was the former. "We had some fun today."

The trader eschewed commenting on what today's action portends for the bigger picture. But "whatever they're saying on TV today, I'll do the opposite," he said. "You can trade the bounce. At 10 o'clock tomorrow, if you buy one of the over-the-counter stocks you like, you'll probably make some money."

The S&P 500

rose as high as 1340.02 but reversed sharply in the afternoon to close down 29.52, or 2.2%, to 1289.48, its fifth-consecutive decline. In addition to the aforementioned tech giants, for big-cap drug makers weighed heavily on the index.

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

fell 11.5% after reporting earnings in-line with expectations but warned its second-quarter profits will disappoint. In sympathy,

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

,

Warner-Lambert

(WLA)

, and

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

each lost more than 7%. The

American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index

closed down 5.7%.

Blue-chip averages got their only measurable support from financial giants such as

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

and cyclicals such as

United Technologies

. The

Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index

gained 1.8%; and the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

climbed 4%.

The

Russell 2000

fell 9.14, or 2.2%, to 412.44 after reaching as high as 426.12.

Roll the Ugliness

"It's starting to look ugly," said Ronny Kraft, CEO of

Gotham Capital Management

. "As I noted

last week, this is the beginning of a correction in the Nasdaq and S&P. Cyclical stocks are doing well but the reality is, everyone is in tech: You

can

have the majority of stocks moving higher but people losing money."

Like most players, Kraft could identify no fundamental reason for the about-face today. He observed some "major, major" sell programs enacted at Dow 10,700, potentially "a sign large institutions and the smart money are making a market bet."

So-called regression models comparing the Dow's performance in the past 145 trading days with other years show an 80% correlation between the most recent period and the 145 days that preceded the market tops of 1929, 1973 and 1987, Kraft said.

"This could potentially be the beginning of something problematic," he said. "I see potentially 5% upside but as much as 30% downside. I think this is an inflection point."

Kraft, who entered today shorting

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

and

Net.B@nk

(NTBK)

and is recommending bets against a variety of others, remains similarly concerned about prospects for big-cap tech stocks.

The Nasdaq closed below its 50-day moving average of 2405 today, while simultaneously breaking the intermediate-term "trendline" in place since November, he noted. "Any violation of the trendline and 50-day moving average is twice as significant," he said. "The reality is, the Nasdaq could come back down to its 100-day moving average, around the mid-2300s. That's a heck of a drop. We could see Dell, Cisco, and Microsoft 25% lower than where they are right now."

The hedge fund manager expressed concern for retail investors, because while institutions are "scaling out" of AOL and Amazon.com, "the public is buying with the notion you're supposed to buy on dips," he said. "The reality is, one of these dips is not going to be a pivot point."

Among other indices, the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

rose 38.01, or 1.1%, to 3566.71, but off its intraday best of 3679.47; the

Dow Jones Utility Average

gained 2.27, or 0.8%, to 298.42; and the

American Stock Exchange Composite Index

fell 10.30, or 1.4%, to 735.11 after hitting a 52-week high of 754.65 intraday.

The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 23/32 to 96 2/32, its yield falling to 5.52%.

Elsewhere in North American equities, the

Toronto Stock Exchange 300

dropped 105.54, or 1.5%, to 6907.69 and the

Mexican Stock Exchange IPC Index

skidded 92.27, or 1.7%, to 5464.17.

Monday's Company Report

By Heather Moore
Staff Reporter

(

Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

knocked off 1 to 70 5/8 after rising as high as 76 1/4 on its first-quarter earnings of $1.04 a share. The profit topped both the 22-analyst estimate for 87 cents and the year-ago 90 cents. Separately,

Dime Bancorp

(DME)

lost 7/16 to 22 3/4 after news it's buying Citigroup unit

Citibank's

automobile finance business. Dime fell 7/16 to 22 3/4.

Maybe it's all these new patchouli-scented '60s movies, but -- aside from all the tech carnage -- a little nostalgia kicked in today. And it ended up a good day -- yes, a good day -- for what (overly?) eager Internet players call the dead-tree folks. Paper conquers virtual -- for a day, at least.

Still flexing from last week's solid earnings, newspaper stocks soared:

New York Times

(NYT) - Get Report

rose 1 5/8, or 5%, to 34 1/8;

Times Mirror

(TMC)

rose 4 11/16, or 8.2%, to 62 1/8;

Tribune

(TRB)

rose 1 15/16 to 80 15/16;

Dow Jones

(DJ)

rose 1 11/16 to 53 7/16; and

Gannett

(GCI) - Get Report

rose 3 3/16 to 73 1/8. Meanwhile, the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index

lifted 0.7%.

Sorry,

Compaq

(CPQ)

-- you're, like,

so

last week's news. Chief Executive Eckhard Pfeiffer and CFO Earl Mason resigned

yesterday. Big whoop, the stock only dribbled down 7/8 to 22 3/4 (an annual low, however).

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Consolidated Natural Gas

(CNG)

picked up 3 9/16, or 6.8%, to 56 after

Columbia Energy Group

(CG) - Get Report

yesterday made a $6.7 billion hostile bid for the company. Columbia Energy gave up 1 1/2 to 46 3/4. In February, Consolidated Natural agreed to be bought by

Dominion Resources

(D) - Get Report

for $6.3 billion in stock but that deal's value has fallen to about $5.5 billion as Dominion's stock price has slumped. Today,

Goldman Sachs

lifted Consolidated Natural Gas to market outperformer.

Hertz

(HRZ)

vaulted 3 1/8, or 5.2%, to an all-time high of 63 after signing a multimillion-dollar agreement to become the premier car rental sponsor on AOL.

Qwest Communications

(QWST)

closed unchanged at 82, after leaping as high as 92 1/8, after

BellSouth

(BLS)

agreed to invest $3.5 billion for a 10% equity stake in the company. BellSouth tacked on 11/16 to 41 7/8.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Eli Lilly tumbled 9 7/16, or 11.5%, to 72 7/8 after saying worldwide quarter sales rose 8% to $2.3 billion but that sales of

Prozac

fell 4% to $589.9 million. The company also posted first-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, in line with the 24-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 46 cents.

Nicor

(GAS)

slipped 3/16 to 36 1/8 after reporting first-quarter net earnings of 82 cents a share, including a gain for the sales of its interest in

QuickTrade

electronic-energy trading system. The seven-analyst view called for operating earnings of 88 cents vs. the year-ago 75 cents.

Vantive

(VNTV)

plunged 3 1/16, or 32.7%, to 6 5/16 after warning it expects to post break-even results for the first quarter -- below estimates for a 6-cent profit -- and naming Thomas Thomas chairman and CEO.

In other earnings news:

Analyst actions

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

sliced off 5 13/16, or 8.7%, to 60 15/16 even after

CIBC Oppenheimer

lifted it to strong buy from buy.

Boise Cascade

(BCC) - Get Report

grew 2 1/16, or 5.5%, to 39 3/4 after

Prudential

raised it to strong buy from hold.

First American Financial

(FAF) - Get Report

shot up 2 5/8, or 17.6%, to 17 9/16 after

Merrill Lynch

pushed it up to intermediate-term accumulate from neutral.

Nuevo Energy

(NEV) - Get Report

climbed 1 3/8, or 9.8%, to 15 3/8 after

J.P. Morgan

upped it to buy from market performer.

TeleBanc

(TBFC)

stumbled 14 1/2, or 16%, to 74 15/16 even after Merrill Lynch started coverage with a near-term accumulate and a long-term buy.

Wellman

(WLM)

jumped 1 3/8, or 11.1%, to 13 3/4 after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

upgraded it to outperform from neutral.

Ziff-Davis'

(ZD)

Internet unit,

ZDNet

(ZDZ)

, tanked 8 1/8, or 20.4%, to 31 5/8 even after Goldman Sachs started coverage at market outperformer.

Miscellany

Central European Media Enterprises

(CETV) - Get Report

slouched 2 7/16, or 21.2%, to 9 after dismissing its general director, Vladimir Zelezny.