Market Update: Markets Still Exhibiting Split Personality - TheStreet

Blue-chips and technology stocks were split down the middle as the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

went their separate ways.

The Dow was lately down 6.6 to 11188.8, while the Nasdaq was finally showing some strength after yesterday's 2.1% slip. Add that to last week's 6% dip and you have a number of tech-stock fans feeling the burn. The Comp was lately climbing 43 to 3939.3.

The

S&P 500

was hanging near break-even at 1491.99, while the

Russell 2000

was edging into the green, up 1.18 to 534.8.

Dow component

Hewlett-Packard

( HWP) was on the downside once again, lately losing 2.6% after yesterday's 5.8% dip on news it is considering

acquiring

PricewaterhouseCoopers'

consulting arm.

Bear Stearns

commented on H-P this morning, saying it keeps a buy rating, but expects that the stock could be under near-term pressure as a result of the possible acquisition. H-P was taking about 15 points off the Dow.

Internet stocks were enjoying some green with

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index up 12.41 to 810.65.

Elsewhere jitters about oil prices and slowing profit growth at large corporations are making investors edgy. Don't expect to see any mercy shown towards companies warning about earnings and revenue shortfalls. The latest textbook cases include

National Steel

(NS) - Get Report

down 11.9%,

Leggett & Platt

(LEG) - Get Report

down 19.9%, and today's favorite whipping boy

PRI Automation

( PRIA) lately getting punched 43.5%. All of the above had a less-than-sunny earnings forecast to report last night.

Then again, good news doesn't seem to be a guarantee of anything either. Check out sunglass and sportswear maker

Oakley

( OO), which said yesterday it would beat third-quarter earnings and post a hefty gain in net sales. After a pop in after-hours trading last night, the stock was getting hit 12.7% today. So much for fun in the sun.

Sector Watch

Oil stocks were taking a breather after rising sharply yesterday on sentiment that

OPEC's

800,000 barrel-per-day increase is not enough to cool prices down. President Clinton expressed concern about a winter fuel-supply crunch and said he is keeping an eye on the oil market to see how it reacts to OPEC's decision. Crude oil for October delivery popped to $35.50 a barrel this morning. Still, the stocks were in need of a rest. The

American Stock Exchange Oil & Gas Index

was inching down 0.6% while the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Sector Index

was down 0.9%

Bear Stearns'

group initiation on Internet stocks was having a mostly positive effect, with the TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index, or DOT, up 1.3%.

About.com

(BOUT) - Get Report

,

InfoSpace

(INSP) - Get Report

,

Lycos

( LCOS) and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

were started with buy ratings.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was rated attractive. Yahoo! was performing best out of the bunch, lately up 2.2%.

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Bonds/Economy

The 10-year Treasury was lately down 3/32 to 99 26/32, yielding 5.77%.

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